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Disaster Recovery - Week 6's Studs Turned Duds

Week 6 was a pretty low scoring fantasy week for the top players in the league. If not for two Monday night heavy-hitters, only three running backs would have reached 18 points in PPR this week. Even still, just five got there. (In Week 5, 14 players reached that mark. In Week 4, 16 players.) We also saw low scores from the top 24 quarterbacks, the guys turned to in two-QB or superflex leagues. Normally, the backend of the top 24 gives managers about a dozen points. The first month of the season, the 25th QB averaged 12.5 points. This week, that man scored 5.44 points.

Byes have something to do with that, as players from four teams are not available. Byes this week robbed us of performances from a number of the top passers playing right now. We also were without fantasy studs yet again due to injury. Dalvin Cook was added to the list of sidelined studs. Cook's replacement, Alexander Mattison, was supposed to be a substitute stud, a la Kareem Hunt in Cleveland. These guys were supposed to be one injury away from stud status as fill-ins. They both got their chance, and neither performed well in Week 6.

It's a good reminder that opportunity isn't the only thing that makes a player a stud, and bankable studs don't always come through week in and week out. Even the best of players put up dud performances. Not all duds are created equal though. Some disastrous performances are signs of more to come. Here are Week 6's studs turned duds.

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

Everything was set up for Elliott to be unleashed. His quarterback went down, meaning the team would want to rely on him more than it had all year and perhaps win one for Dak in the process. The Cowboys were facing a below-average defense in Arizona. They also still have first place in the NFC East in their sights, so building on a good outing could see them cruise to a playoff berth in the worst division in the modern era. Instead, everything went wrong. Elliott was stuffed and stumbled. He fumbled twice. The game got away from Dallas, meaning Andy Dalton had to throw the ball 54 times! In the end, Elliott finished with a measly 80 yards from scrimmage, no scores, and those two fumbles.

With divisional games each of the next two weeks, Elliott should find it easier to run the ball, though it still remains to be seen how this offense will function with Dalton in the ideal scenario. They surely want to run more than they were able to Monday, but there may not be the huge push to pound the ball on the ground that everyone assumed there'd be when Prescott went down.

Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

Much like Elliott in Dallas, the game script went completely away from Hill in Kansas City. The difference was his team was cruising. The Chiefs rushed the ball 46 times, leaving Hill with just four touches and 25 yards from scrimmage. It was easily his worst game of the season.

The Buffalo defense has been one of the worst in the league by Football Outsiders' DVOA. Denver, on the other hand, has been pretty good. Yet the Broncos don't defend the pass nearly as well as the run (18th against the pass, 7th against the run). That should flip the script next week in Hill's favor. What makes the KC offense special is its ability to adapt and beat people in a number of ways. Most of the time, Hill will be prominently involved; occasionally he will take a back seat as he did here.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Rodgers just put together one of the worst fantasy days a quarterback can possibly have when they don't leave a game early. Quarterback is such an important fantasy position because of the high floor it carries. Passing is so prevalent. It's why leagues with a superflex spot are essentially just leagues with a second QB spot. It would be insane to start a skill player over even the 25th-ranked QB likely to score, as outlined above, at least a dozen points each week.

Rodgers bucked all those trends in Week 6, scoring an amazing 3.8 fantasy points (depending on league settings). There isn't much else to say. Everything seemed off. What makes this performance so unusual is that Green Bay didn't even generate any garbage-time production. It was shut out the final three quarters of the game, and Rodgers only had time for 35 pass attempts. Compare that to Andy Dalton's terrible game. Dalton finished with 54 pass attempts and grabbed a meaningless (except for fantasy) touchdown in the fourth quarter. None of that materialized for Rodgers and the Packers.

There also isn't much to take away. Rodgers was in the midst of an MVP-caliber season before this game. Tampa Bay is one of the best defenses in the league, and it had his number this time.

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Evans is a top-10 wide receiver each week because of his ceiling. He also possesses a very low floor, which is a headache for fantasy managers. This was already the third time this season Evans saw fewer than five targets and made either two or one, single catch. It was also, however, the first time all year he didn't score a touchdown. Put it all together, and Evans generated a simply horrendous fantasy day of 10 total yards.

The touchdown pace was bound to slow, but we were hoping it wouldn't come the same week that he failed to get involved in the offense at all. The drastic swings of Evans' season have something to do with his early injuries, as well as melding with a new quarterback. The worrisome fact is that Evans' three, low-target outings have all come when Chris Godwin played. Godwin has 20 targets in three games. Perhaps the sample size is too small to read anything into it, but the surface numbers indicate Evans is Tom Brady's go-to guy when he's the lone stud receiver, but when both guys are available, Brady looks to Godwin instead.



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Thursday Night Football DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings

We move onto week 7 where we get a riveting NFC East showdown as the New York Giants take on the Philadelphia Eagles. This game has an under/over of 45 with the Eagles being favored by 4.5 points.

In this article, I will be providing you with daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for the Thursday Night Football slate on October 22nd (Week 7). These lineups can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

If you have any questions you can follow me on Twitter @jorgepucks and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with myself and other NFL DFS analysts any time you'd like!

 

DFS Quarterbacks

As both teams are in contention for the NFC East title, their two young quarterbacks will need to bring their "A" game in order for their team to pull out the win on Thursday night. Daniel Jones will be leading this Giants offense and while he hasn't been amazing from a fantasy perspective, the Giants offense as a whole has struggled partly due to them losing their best offensive weapon in Saquan Barkley early on in the season. Jones has thrown for over 1,200 yards through six games but is struggling from protecting the football as he has thrown six interceptions and only three touchdowns. The Eagles have a top 12 defense against the pass (allowing 233.2 passing yards per game to opponents) but have only recorded two interceptions on the season so far.

Carson Wentz is the more seasoned quarterback and should be able to produce more points than Daniel Jones. Wentz has thrown for over 1,400 yards through six games and has eight touchdown passes while also throwing nine interceptions. Wentz has had a revolving door when it comes to his receivers as he has been unable to throw to a consistent stable group all season long which has led to his high turnover number. When looking back at his past four weeks, Wentz has eclipsed 20 DK points in three of those games while rushing for three touchdowns in four of those games. The Giants are allowing opponents to throw for 242.3 yards per game which ranks 17th in the league so this looks to be a solid match for Wentz.

Analysis: Wentz is the safer option but both are viable in tournament builds. Only one QB should be used in cash lines but stacking them in the same line could be a tournament strategy on this slate.

 

DFS Running Backs

Both star backs for the Giants and Eagles will be missing this game so it looks like we will turn to their backups on the depth chart to roster for our showdown contests this week. The New York Giants lost Saquan Barkley early in the season and brought in free-agent running back Devonta Freeman to carry the rock for the remainder of the 2020 season. Freeman has seen an increase in touches as he has been inserted as the main back and has seen a combined 35 carries over the last two weeks. Behind Freeman are Wayne Gallman Jr. and Dion Lewis have both conceded carries to Freeman. Gallman has been more involved when compared to Lewis and looks to be the back-up running back in this Giants backfield. When looking at the matchup, the Eagles are allowing opponents to rush for 120 yards per game which ranks 20th in the league. If the Giants want to win this game, they should look to pound the rock early with Freeman.

Miles Sanders will be missing this game which means Boston Scott will absorb the lead back duties in his absence. Scott has served as the backup to Sanders all season long and has been involved in the passing game when he has seen the field which means he brings upside in full point per reception sites like DraftKings. Corey Clement will serve as the back up running back to Boston Scott and when Scott drew the start in week 1, Clement saw six total carries and two passing targets. The Giants have been stingy against opposing ground games as they rank eighth in the league in rushing yards allowed per game (106.5) so this looks to be a tough matchup for the Eagles rushing attack. If you do decide to roster an Eagles running back, the upside will come from the passing game by running underneath routes and dump-off passes from Wentz.

Analysis: Devonta Freeman and Boston Scott will both see plenty of carries in this game with Freeman having a better matchup. Both backs are viable for cash games due to the volume they will see. Their backups could be used in tournaments as value plays but they do come with risk.

 

DFS Wide Receivers

The wide receiver position on this slate is a tad underwhelming but there could be some good tournament plays on both sides of this game. For the Giants, they rely heavily on Darius Slayton and Golden Tate as their main receiving options. Slayton leads the team with 44 total targets and has close to a 20%team target share while Golden Tate ranks second of all Giants receivers in targets and receptions. CJ Board looks to be the third wide receiver that is utilized in this Giants offense but doesn't offer much upside since Jones looks heavily at Slayton and Tate.

The Eagles have struggled to have a consistent wide receiver group out on the field throughout the 2020 season. Travis Fulgham has emerged as a top target while both DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor, and Alshon Jeffery have all been out due to injuries. Fulgham has seen 23 total targets over the last two games and has posted three straight games of double-digit fantasy points while also recording a receiving touchdown in each game. Fulgham has become a go-to player for Wentz and is viable in all formats. Outside of him, John Hightower and Greg Ward have seen significant snaps and they form the strong receiving trio that the Eagles have been rolling out over the past several weeks.

Analysis: Fulgham and Slayton are the two best receiving options on the slate. Tate offers a solid floor that can be used in cash games while Ward and Hightower offer upside in tournaments.

 

DFS Tight Ends

Both teams have great receiving options at the tight end position when fully healthy. For the Eagles, Zach Ertz injured himself against Baltimore and is already labeled as out for the Thursday night game against the Giants. Back-up tight end Dallas Goedert has been on injured reserve since dislocating his ankle early in the season and while he is progressing well, there is some doubt that he will miss the Thursday night game as well. It seems as if former Green Bay Packers tight end Richard Rodgers will draw the start for week 7 and this is encouraging news as he saw over 60% of snaps in his last game played. If other Eagles receiving options are also out, Rodgers could see a bump in targets which increases his upside. The Giants have been a strong defense against opposing tight ends as they are allowing only eight fantasy points per game against the position so consider Rodgers a riskier tournament play that carries upside.

The Giants have one of the better overall tight ends in the game in Evan Engram but he has been off to a relatively quiet start to the 2020 season. Engram has only eclipsed double-digit fantasy points in one of his six games played and has only seen a combined five targets over his last two games played. On the flip side, he ranks second in total targets (35) on the Giants offense and is tied for the second-most receptions (18)on the squad as well. The Eagles have struggled against opposing tight ends as they are allowing the position to average 18.9 fantasy points per game.

Analysis: Engram looks to be the safer pick despite his recent stats. He draws a better matchup and is the better overall tight end in this game. Rodgers could have a decent game with the volume but the matchup is much tougher.

 

DFS Defense/Special Teams

With this game featuring a low total, both defenses could be in play. The Giants' defense is intriguing as they have recorded 15 sacks on the season and Wentz has been sacked 25 times through the first six games. When factoring in the pressure that Wentz could be under, the Giants could force several turnovers which makes them an interesting tournament play. On the other side of this game, the Eagles Defense has generated 21 sacks on the season and Daniel Jones has been sacked 17 times on the season. They too as a unit can generate pressure and force mistakes which also makes them a viable tournament option. For the kickers, Graham Gano has been fantastic for the Giants as he has connected on 15 out of 16 field-goal attempts and is averaging 12.5 fantasy points per game over his last four games played.

Analysis: Both defenses are in play as they have the ability to get to opposing quarterbacks and generate pressure/ turnovers. Graham Gano has been excellent for the Giants and is getting plenty of chances so he is viable in all formats. 

 

Good luck, RotoBallers, and remember to mix it up and don't be afraid to be different in these large field GPPs!



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Monday Night Football DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings

Week 6 of the NFL season is coming to a close but don't fret because we have yet another Monday Night Football doubleheader on tap this week with two exciting matchups between the Chiefs and Bills in the AFC and the Cowboys and Cardinals in the NFC. Vegas likes both of these games to be high scoring and so there should be no shortage of fantasy points.

Today I'll be providing you with my daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for Monday Night Football on October 19th, 2020 (Week 6). These lineups can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on FanDuel.

If you have any questions you can follow me on Twitter @ThunderDanDFS and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with myself and other NFL DFS analysts any time you'd like!

 

DFS Quarterbacks

Patrick Mahomes

This slate is absolutely loaded with offensive talent, but Mahomes is easily still the best QB on the slate. He's facing a Bills secondary that was handled by Ryan Tannehill and the Titans receivers last week and I expect a big bounce-back performance from the Chiefs this week after losing to the Raiders last week.

The Bills are giving up the fifth-most fantasy points to QBs this season and Mahomes will look to lead this KC offense up and down the field with his strong arm and scrambling ability that allows him to extend plays and find open receivers. He's always a threat to run for a TD, too. Paying up for him and pairing him with a few pass-catchers is a good idea on this slate.

Kyler Murray

While Josh Allen is always a compelling option, I am going to bypass him today and grab some shares of Kyler Murray and the Arizona passing game against what has been a horrible Cowboys Defense this season. Dallas is allowing a 107.9 QB rating to opposing passers this season, fifth-worst in the league. Meanwhile, Murray is averaging nearly 28 DraftKings points per game this season and continues to pile up rushing yards and rushing touchdowns (5), giving him an excellent floor and ceiling.

 

DFS Running Backs

Ezekiel Elliott

Zeke is the easily the class of this set of running backs I'd make every effort to get him in your lineup if possible. With Dak Prescott out for the season, expect the Cowboys to attempt to lean on Elliott and the running game as much as possible to keep Andy Dalton from having to throw 40+ times. Zeke has a nice matchup here as the Cardinals have given up the 11th-most fantasy points to running backs and he's pretty game-script proof, too, as he's been averaging nearly five catches per game and is very much involved in the passing game.

Zack Moss/T.J. Yeldon

I'm looking for value somewhere on this slate and there really isn't another lead back that I feel like paying for with CEH having a tough matchup, Kenyan Drake stuck in a timeshare with Chase Edmonds, and Buffalo's starter Devin Singletary coming off a lackluster game against the Titans. Moss should be good to go for this game and is the Bills' best runner between the tackles. He also is likely to get touches down around the goal line, too. Keep an eye out for any limitations on his workload as they could ease him back into action. Yeldon is a dart throw as he had a random good game against Tennesee with Singletary struggling, but Moss's return could ruin him.

 

DFS Wide Receivers

DeAndre Hopkins

I am not sure how much analysis you need here but Hopkins is one of the league leaders in targets, catches, yards, and is averaging nearly 24 DK points a game even while scoring two touchdowns this season. He's facing a Cowboys team that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to receivers this season and there's really no reason not to think that Nuk won't get his against this Dallas secondary.

Christian Kirk

If we are looking for another receiver to stack with Kyler, then Kirk is probably my favorite. He caught five of his seven targets for 78 yards last week and is a safer play than Andy Isabella or Larry Fitzgerald. Kirk operates in the slot a good bit and the middle of this Cowboys' defense is definitely a soft spot that Murray would be wise to exploit.

Mecole Hardman

The Chiefs will be without Sammy Watkins this week and therefore we can give both Hardman and Demarcus Robinson a hard look as both speedsters should get a nice uptick in snaps and hopefully targets. Hardman is the guy I want the most shares of on this slate. His big-play ability on deep routes down the field and kick-returning abilities give him a ceiling that you won't find in any other cheap receiver. He's already found the end zone twice this season and averaging nearly 15 yards per reception.

 

DFS Tight Ends

Travis Kelce

Kelce is the best tight end in the game and is one of Mahomes' top targets week in and week out. He's quite possibly my favorite play on the entire slate here as he has a clear mismatch against the Bills linebacker corps. Buffalo's a bit banged up on defense and is allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Jonnu Smith exploited them last week and Kelce should absolutely feast over the middle of the field in this game. Don't get cute, Kelce should be in 100% of your lineup and could double up or even triple up every other tight end's output on this slate.

 

DFS Defense/Special Teams

Chiefs Defense

The Chiefs defense really let me down last week as the Raiders piled up 40 points on them and they actually put up a negative number. They couldn't stop the run and couldn't get off the field on third down. Before that outing against Las Vegas, however, they had not allowed a team to score more than 20 points and they've created 8 turnovers this season. The Bills run game is not good, so if KC can stop the run then they should be able to pin their ears back and put pressure on Josh Allen, who can be guilty of trying to extend plays too long which results in sacks or ill-advised throws that turn into picks.

 

Good luck, RotoBallers, and remember to mix it up and don't be afraid to be different in these large field GPPs on two-game slates!



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Sunday Night Football DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings

We get a fun Sunday Night Football matchup that highlights an NFC West showdown featuring the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers. This game has an under/over of 49.5 with the Los Angeles Rams favored by 3 points.

In this article, I will be providing you with daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for the Sunday Night Football slate on October 18th (Week 6). These lineups can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

If you have any questions you can follow me on Twitter @jorgepucks and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with myself and other NFL DFS analysts any time you'd like!

 

DFS Quarterbacks

This seems to be a more lopsided choice when comparing the two quarterbacks that are in play for this showdown. Jared Goff has gotten off to a great start to his 2020 campaign as he has completed over 72% of his passes for over 1,000 yards and six total touchdowns. Goff has done a great job limiting his interceptions through the first quarter of the season as he has only been picked off twice so far this season. In Goff's career against the 49ers,  he has played six games and thrown for 1,184 yards and 12 touchdowns while only getting picked off three times. The San Fran defense has been very good against the pass (even with all of the injuries) as they are allowing opponents to throw for 215 yards per game. While they have been stingy defensively, Goff has weapons around him that could make him a viable option on this slate.

On the other side of this game, San Francisco has been struggling over the past couple of weeks due to inconsistent play and injuries. Jimmy Garappolo had a solid showing in his first two games of the season as he averaged 195 passing yards and threw for four touchdowns while not throwing a pick. He was then injured and had to miss some time and looked really rough in his last start against Miami. He has not done well in his career against the Rams as he has averaged 261 passing yards per game but has been sacked eight times and picked off five times in a three-game span. The Rams passing defense has looked very strong this season as they are allowing opponents to throw for only 197 yards per game which is the second-best in the league.

Analysis: Goff looks to be the stronger play when comparing him to Garoppolo. He is showing better form and just has an overall better history against his opponent. Jimmy G. is a tournament play but does carry risk as he was benched in his most recent game.

 

DFS Running Backs

While the running back situation for both teams could seem a tad messy, there are some viable fantasy plays that we will be able to find and use for this showdown slate. For the 49ers, they got a huge boost in the running game with Raheem Mostert being back and healthy in the lineup. Mostert was off to a strong start in his first two weeks despite getting injured early on against the NY Jets. He saw 11 carries in his return for 90 yards and while that doesn't seem like a ton, the game script of them falling behind to the Dolphins surely played into that. Mostert is averaging 79 rushing yards per game and while he only has one rushing touchdown, he is often utilized in the passing game as well which helps his fantasy stock even more. When healthy, he is the clear cut de-facto running back for this San Fran team and makes for a great play in all formats. Jerick McKinnon seems to have slid into the backup running back role and should see some time in the passing game or even when Mostert needs a break so if looking for a value tournament play, McKinnon would be the move.

The Rams look to have a bit of a crowded backfield as they are working Cam Akers back into the fold from his injury that has kept him out a few weeks. Malcolm Brown has seen the steadiest snap count of the group but Darrell Henderson Jr. leads the running back group when it comes to total touchdowns scored. When glancing at the depth chart, it looks as if Henderson Jr. has asserted himself as the top running back as of right now and it is hard to argue as he has seen 43 carries over the last three games played while Brown has seen only 24 carries over the same span. Henderson Jr. is the safest play while Brown and Akers jockey for position as to who will be the backup running back for the time being.

Analysis: Mostert is the strongest play from this group as he has seen the steadiest snap count (when healthy) and has been the most reliable fantasy back out of this group. Henderson Jr. makes for a solid play and could be used in cash games but the crowded backfield hinders his upside. Brown and Akers look to be tournament plays in hopes they vulture a touchdown away from Henderson Jr.

 

DFS Wide Receivers

The receiving groups for both sides can be pretty explosive which makes these guys great fantasy targets in this matchup. The Rams have one of the best-receiving tandems in the league in Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. Kupp has become a great security blanket for Goff while Woods has become the explosive downfield playmaker in this Rams offense. Kupp leads the team in receptions (28) and yards (363) while Woods carries the highest DK average of 16.1 DK points per game. Outside of the main two receivers for the Rams, they have veteran Josh Reynolds and rookie speedster Van Jefferson Jr. Reynolds is seeing more consistent snaps and is getting more consistent targets, specifically over the last three games (13 targets over the last three games).

The 49ers are finally starting to get their receiving room healthy which will only aid the offense as a whole. Kendrick Bourne has seen a steady amount of targets through the first five weeks which can also be attributed to the injuries to Aiyuk, Samuel, and Kittle. Brandon Aiyuk has seen the second-most receiving targets through the first five weeks (22) with 19 of those coming over the last three games played. Deebo Samuel is finally healthy after missing the first three weeks due to an injury and saw 11 targets through his first two games (eight total targets in his most recent game played).

Analysis: With several options at the receiver position, you can play several of them in cash and feel comfortable. Kupp and Woods are the best options for the Rams and both can be deployed in cash games. Samuel and Aiyuk are the bright spots in the 49ers receiving room and could be cash game viable as well. Reynolds Jr, Jefferson, and Bourne will see snaps but remain tournament plays due to their inconsistency in fantasy scoring.

 

DFS Tight Ends

One of the top tight ends will be featured on this slate and it will be hard to not want to press the lock button on George Kittle. The 49ers tight end is widely considered to be a top-three tight end in the game and is one of the key focal points in the San Fran offense. Kittle holds the largest target share on the team with a 16.76%  and has the most targets on the team with 29. This is even more impressive to think about since he has missed time already due to a knee injury. Kittle has racked up 24 catches on his 29 targets and leads all San Fran receivers in receiving yards (271). Kittle draws a favorable matchup against the Rams as he has averaged over five catches for 89.5 receiving yards per game while also hauling in three career passing touchdowns against the Rams Defense.

While tight ends aren't featured as much in the Rams offense as the 49ers feature theirs, they have a solid duo that most teams in the league would love to have. Tyler Higbee has been their primary offensive tight end weapon as he has recorded the third-most catches on the team (15) but leads the team in touchdown receptions (3). Gerald Everett is the other main tight end option for the Rams and while he doesn't quite see the same volume as Higbee, he has recorded a 90% completion percentage on passes thrown his way.

Analysis: Kittle is one of the top plays on the slate and is one of the best cash game and tournament picks on the slate. For the Rams, their duo of tight ends in Higbee and Everett are better off used for tournament lineups just with the lower floor they have compared to Kittle.

 

DFS Defense/Special Teams

This should be a good defensive battle as both defenses have played well so far this season. The Rams are holding opponents to just 18 points per game while the 49ers are holding opponents to just 22 points per game. The one major stat that jumps out in this matchup is that the Rams are tied for a league-leading high with 20 sacks and the 49ers are allowing 3.6 sacks per game. This could be very good for the Rams defense and they could be in strong consideration for cash games and even the captain spot in tournaments. With this also being a good defensive matchup, both Sam Sloman and Robbie Gould could get some opportunities if drives stall for their respective offenses.

Analysis: The Rams defense is in play for cash games while the 49ers Defense could be used in tournaments. Both kickers are viable in tournaments, especially if you're needing salary relief for your roster construction.

 

Good luck, RotoBallers, and remember to mix it up and don't be afraid to be different in these large field GPPs!



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Disaster Recovery - Week 5's Studs Turned Duds

As we push past the quarter mark of the 2020 NFL season, it gets harder and harder to keep track of the maturations created by COVID. Games are getting rescheduled, pushed, and canceled. Teams are being given last-minute bye weeks that alter the future schedule in half a dozen or more different ways. We gain Tuesday contests and lose Thursday ones. Everything remains an option.

On top of that, we still have a slew of stud players sidelined due to injury or other circumstances, specifically at wide receiver. It isn't every week that Chase Claypool and Travis Fulgham will be the scoring leaders at the position, but it is easier to imagine random players sliding to the top when Julio Jones, Davante Adams, and Michael Thomas continue to miss games.

In any event, surprise good performances aren't what sustain a fantasy team. There is no way to bank on continually finding diamonds in the rough week after week. Instead, it is consistency from the studs at the top that drive fantasy success. Yet even the best of players put up dud performances. Not all duds are created equal though. Some disastrous performances are signs of more to come. Here are Week 5's studs turned duds.

(Editor's Note: Because of weekly scheduling, this article was written before Tuesday's game between Buffalo and Tennessee.)

 

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

For the second time in the past three weeks, Jackson finished well outside the top 12 quarterbacks. Alarmingly, for the first time this season, Week 5's dud showed him do absolutely nothing running with the football. He combined three rushing yards with a 19-of-37 day through the air, bringing his season completion percentage to 24th in the NFL at 63.7 percent. The game was an easy win for Baltimore, which speaks for his lack of running. But his lack of success through the air has to be mitigated by something to make him a stud fantasy performer. After a Week 7 bye, the Ravens face five tough defenses in a row. If this is what we get against Cincinnati, what is in store for fantasy managers during that midseason stretch?

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs

80 total yards with no scores isn't going to cut it from a first-round fantasy back. Week 5 was the fourth straight game where CEH's production remained rather ordinary in non-PPR leagues. Ever since his Week 1 breakout, he has become a bigger threat in the passing game yet less of a producer overall. He is averaging just 3.68 yards per carry since that first game. It would be easy to blame game script, but not all of Kansas City's games have been shootouts or close battles that require endless passing to keep pace. Instead, it could be the offensive line, which ranked first in pass protection but was 17th in adjusted line yards even before the team suffered its first loss of the season this week. Edwards-Helaire remains a quality fantasy option, but it doesn't look like he will have the consistent heights that Week 1 hinted at. It's more likely that a great CEH game moving forward will see balanced rushing and receiving buoyed by a touchdown, if he ever finds the end zone again.

Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks

When someone has been surpassed by his own teammate, it is time to move him off the stud list. Lockett remains a very good wide receiver on a high-powered offense, but he doesn't appear to be Russell Wilson's go-to guy anymore, at least for the big plays. Through five games, Lockett trails DK Metcalf by just one target, but the other numbers greatly favor the big man on the outside. Metcalf is ninth in the NFL in average targeted air yards (Lockett is 75th), third in percent of team air yards (33rd), and is averaging 6.1 yards after reception (3.6). Lockett isn't pushing the defense down the field and isn't doing all that much with the ball after the catch. And unlike most situations where one player has the big-play ability and the other plays underneath, it is actually Metcalf who has been far more consistent for fantasy managers. Lockett has had one monstrous game but has been simply solid the rest of the year to this point.

Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys

Like Lockett, Cooper may be falling victim to having teammates with too much talent. That, combined with the injury to Dak Prescott, could alter his value moving forward. Cooper's Week 5 was his first bad game of the season. He finished with two catches for 23 yards. As the passes get spread around, he has just one touchdown on the season and now trails CeeDee Lamb in yards. Though Cooper has more than twice as many receptions as Michael Gallup, Gallup is also catching up to Cooper in yardage, as he averages nearly double Cooper's yards per reception. All the volume could be spread around when Prescott was airing it out 50 times a game, but what about when the team turns back to the run to protect Andy Dalton? It remains to be seen how the target share will shake out with Dalton at quarterback, but Cooper managers cannot be comfortable that the previous status quo will remain.

George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

There are only two stud tight ends in the league. One easily paced the position in scoring this week. The other, Kittle, did not perform up to his standards thanks to wildness at the quarterback position. It is hard to feel great about Kittle's standing with what San Francisco is getting out of its quarterbacks right now, but it's not a time to worry. Jimmy Garoppolo clearly wasn't healthy yet in Week 5. And in Week 4, with Garoppolo sidelined and a QB change taking place midgame, Kittle excelled. Week 5 saw particularly egregious QB play; the future should be steadier.

 



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Monday & Tuesday Night Football DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings

This week is a tad different as we are treated to a Monday and Tuesday two-game slate. The Monday night game features the Los Angeles Chargers and New Orleans Saints while the Tuesday night game features the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans. The Saints and Chargers game has an under/over of 49.5 with the Saints favored by 8 while the Titans and Bills game has an under/over of 42.5 with the Bills being a 3 point favorite.

In this article, I will be providing you with daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for the Monday and Tuesday Night Football slate on October 12th and 13th (Week 5). These lineups can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

If you have any questions you can follow me on Twitter @jorgepucks and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with myself and other NFL DFS analysts any time you'd like!

 

DFS Quarterbacks

Josh Allen - The quarterback with the most upside on this slate is Josh Allen. Allen carries a very big price tag on DK but the offense starts and revolves around him. Allen has been much more efficient this season in the passing game as he is averaging 331.5 passing yards per game but what is even more impressive has been his decision making and ball security as he has only thrown one interception all season long. The upside that Allen presents is that he can score in both the air and on the ground as he has thrown 12 passing touchdowns while also having three rushing touchdowns as well. The Titans have struggled to defend the run as they are allowing over 166 yards per game and this could be a week where they get a heavy dose of Allen and Singletary run-pass options.

Ryan Tannehill - While playing Tannehill might not be the most exciting thing to do on this slate, his pricepoint really opens up salary for the rest of your lineup. Tannehill could be without both Corey Davis and Adam Humphries which does limit his upside a bit but it does look like he will have at least A.J. Brown and Jonnu Smith for their game. Tannehill is averaging 21 DK points per game through the first three weeks of the season and could be in a decent spot as the Bills have struggled against the pass this year allowing 280 passing yards per game. With a lot of the Bill's defensive attention going to Henry and the run game, Tannehill could have his opportunities downfield in one-on-one matchups.

Other Plays: Drew Brees

 

DFS Running Backs

Alvin Kamara - Kamara is by far the most electric running back on this slate and carries the most upside as well. He has produced 20+ DK points in all four games so far this season and has been a touchdown machine as he has found paydirt seven times (four rushing, three receiving). Kamara has been heavily involved in the receiving game as he has been targeted 35 times through the first four games of the season which leads the team (next closest is Sanders with 22). The Chargers Defense has been average defending the run and even worse against the pass so Kamara could be deployed in all formats with confidence.

Devin Singletary - While Singletary might not be the flashiest running back choice on this slate, he does provide a solid floor for your lineups, especially if his backup running back is ruled out. Singletary is involved in both the passing and running game for the Bills and while he might get vultured from Allen or concede some snaps to Moss, he makes the most of his workload. Singletary draws a very favorable matchup against Tennessee as they rank 31st in the league in run defense as they allow 166 rushing yards per game. With a lot of attention going to Josh Allen and his running abilities, Singletary could be a viable tournament option especially if he can find the end zone.

Other Plays: Derrick HenryZack Moss, Justin Jackson

 

DFS Wide Receivers

Keenan Allen - Allen has been on fire through the first quarter of the season and it doesn't seem like he is slowing down anytime soon. He carries a team-high 35.8% team target share percentage and is averaging over 12 targets per game. Allen has seen even more attention from his rookie quarterback and with Ekeler being place don the IR, he could receive more attention in the passing game. The Saints secondary has been banged up over the past couple weeks and could be without Marshon Lattimore as he is listed as questionable and Janoris Jenkins already being labeled as out. If they are missing several of their key pieces, Allen could have a big night. He is easily one of the best cash game options in the league and is certainly viable for tournament lineups as well.

A.J. Brown - Brown is listed as questionable heading into Tuesday nights game but with Davis and Humphries both looking like they will be unable to play due to Covid-19, it is hard to imagine the Titans not rolling out their top receiving option against the Bills. Brown has only played in one game this season but really emerged during his 2019 campaign as the go-to guy for Ryan Tannehill in this Titans offense. In his lone action of the 2020 season, Brown recorded five catches on eight total targets for 39 yards against Denver and this should be a stat line that could easily be the floor for Brown in his matchup tonight. The Bills have allowed opposing teams to throw for over 280 yards per game which ranks 28th in the league so this seems like a favorable matchup for the Titans passing game which would also allude to Brown having a big game.

Tre'Quan SmithThis is another week for the Saints without Michael Thomas which means Tre'Quan Smith could see a heavy workload yet again. Smith has seen an increased workload and an increase in targets with Thomas's absence as he has racked up 17 targets and two receiving touchdowns over his last three games played. The Chargers defense has been hit with injuries, especially in their secondary and they have allowed opponents to rack up 263 passing yards per game which rank 24th in the league. We all know Brees at home is always in play and with how the Chargers have suffered in passing coverage, we can assume that both Smith and Sanders will be heavily involved in the offensive gameplan tonight.

Other Plays: Stefon Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders, Cole Beasley,  Marquez Callaway, Jalen Guyton, Kalif Raymond

 

DFS Tight Ends

Hunter Henry - When healthy, Hunter Henry has been one of the more consistent fantasy tight ends in the league. He ranks second on the Chargers when it comes to team target share (19%) and could only see more of an increase with Austin Ekeler being out for multiple weeks. Henry has been a solid security blanket for this Chargers offense and while his ceiling might not be the highest, he is viable for cash game formats. Henry draws a favorable matchup as the Saints are tied with the most targets allowed to opposing tight ends (44) and are in the bottom three when it comes to yards allowed to the position throughout the first four games of the season (330).

Jonnu Smith - If you're looking for a tight end with a high ceiling, Smith would be your guy. He is tied for the team-high in targets (20) and has produced double-digit DK points in three games so far this season. Smith is the leading receiver on this team when it comes to touchdown receptions as he has three touchdowns and draws a favorable matchup against a Chargers defense who has allowed 233 receiving yards and three touchdown catches to opposing tight ends this season.

Other Plays: Dawson Knox

 

DFS Defense/Special Teams

The defensive options on his two-game slate are rather tough since none of these defenses have looked stellar like we have seen in prior years. The Bills are the highest priced defense and could be viewed as the safest option since several playmakers for the Titans could be out for this game. The Titans have only coughed up one turnover on the season so far which is the second-lowest in the league so the Bills would need to generate pressure on Tannehill and force him into a mistake of some sort. If looking to save salary at this position, you can go on the opposite side of the game and pay down for the Titans offense with the hopes that this game stays a low scoring affair.

Defensive Rankings:

  1. Buffalo Bills Defense
  2. New Orleans Saints Defense
  3. Tennessee Titans Defense
  4. Los Angeles Chargers Defense

 

Good luck, RotoBallers, and remember to mix it up and don't be afraid to be different in these large field GPPs!



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Sunday Night Football DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings

We get a strong Sunday Night Football matchup as the Minnesota Vikings take on the Seattle Seahawks! The Vikings and Seahawks game currently has a 56.5 over/under with the Seahawks being favored by 7 points.

In this article, I will be providing you with daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for Sunday Night Football on October 11th, 2020 (Week 5). These lineups can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on FanDuel. Lineup construction can differ greatly from FanDuel to DraftKings with the biggest difference being the Captain and MVP slots. On DK, you'll pay 1.5x the salary of a player in order to roster them as your captain while the price doesn't change on FanDuel.

If you have any questions you can follow me on Twitter @jorgepucks and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with myself and other NFL DFS analysts any time you'd like!

 

DFS Quarterbacks

The two quarterbacks on this slate are very different in the way they play the game and the way they run the offense. Kirk Cousins is the quintessential game manager quarterback for the Vikings while Russell Wilson is the big-time clutch playmaker for the Seahawks. Cousins has been pretty average throughout the first four games of the season as he has thrown for six touchdowns and thrown for six interceptions while racking up 883 yards. The matchup against the Seahawks Defense is pretty favorable as they are allowing over 400 yards per game through the air. This could be a game where more is asked of Cousins and the passing game which makes him viable for tournaments.

Russell Wilson has been one of the most dominant fantasy players throughout the first quarter of the season. He is averaging 321 passing yards per game while also accumulating 16 total touchdowns (four per game average) during that four-game span. He has posted 30+ DK points in three out of four games played and carries the highest ceiling on the showdown slate. The Vikings haven't done so well against the pass as they rank 29th in the league against the pass, allowing 291.8 yards per game through the air. Wilson is the best overall play on the slate and is viable in all formats since he carries a high floor and also has the highest possible ceiling as well.

Analysis: Both quarterbacks are viable on this slate with Wilson being the best option for all formats. Cousins could be used for cash but he does carry some risk with his inconsistent play.

 

DFS Running Backs

This game features some of the best running games in the league. The Vikings have a top-5 running back in Dalvin Cook and he has gotten off to a very strong start to his 2020 season. Cook is averaging 106 rushing yards per game and is getting close to three targets per game. Cook has found paydirt six times to start the season and is the catalyst to this Vikings offense. The Seahawks run defense has been stellar so far through four games as they are allowing only 75 yards per game on the ground so this will be a big challenge for the Vikings rushing attack. Backing up Cook is Alexander Mattison who has held down the back up role for the Vikings over the last several years. He sees 6-7 carries per game but would only be used as a deep shot salary saving option in tournaments.

The Seahawks have a stable of backs but when Chris Carson is healthy, he is a tough back to bring down. Carson is the do-it-all back for the Seahawks as he has five touchdowns (two rushing, three receiving) and has recorded double-digit DK points throughout the first four weeks of the season. The Vikings have gotten gashed on the ground to start the season as they are allowing opponents to run for 134.8 yards per game so Seattle could have a big game on the ground if they get the running game established early on. Carlos Hyde mainly backs up Carson but he is listed as questionable so it could be Travis Homer getting back up duties should Hyde not be able to play.

Analysis: Both running attacks are vital to their team's success which makes both Cook and Carson in play. Carson has a better matchup while Cook has been the more explosive fantasy player so far. Mattison does get several touches and would be considered a long shot tournament play should he get any goal-line looks.

DFS Wide Receivers

We have some explosive options at the receiver position in this matchup. For the Vikings, they are led by veteran receiver Adam Thielen and rookie receiver Justin Jefferson. Thielen leads all receivers with a 31% target share while also hauling in the most catches (20). Justin Jefferson has filled the void left behind by Stefon Diggs and has proved to be a reliable outside option as he has recorded 16 catches on 20 total targets on the season. He has produced back-to-back 100-yard performances and has seen 14 targets over that two-game stretch. The Vikings utilize their backs and tight ends in the passing game as well which means receivers outside of Thielen and Jefferson really don't see many targets. OlaBisi Johnson saw seven combined targets throughout the first two games but has seen a sharp decline in snaps which makes him a deep tournament punt.

The Seahawks have two dominant receivers in Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. They have been on the field for 90% of all offensive snaps and they both carry over a 20% target share on the team. Both receivers are averaging 19+ DK points per game and make for great options in all formats. The Vikings have struggled through the first quarter of the season as they are allowing opponents to throw for over 400 yards per game which bodes well for opposing receivers. Rounding out the receiving crew for the Seahawks is David Moore who often gets forgotten about since he gets overshadowed by Lockett and Metcalf. Moore is used in three wide-receiver sets and has the third-highest target share of all Seahawks receivers. If you're looking for a cheaper receiving option for tournaments, Moore could warrant consideration.

Analysis: Thielen, Lockett, and Metcalf are the top receiving options on the slate and fit well for all formats. Jefferson is a tad riskier but is still viable in all formats as well. Johnson and Moore could be better fitted for tournaments due to lower snap counts and lower volume.

 

DFS Tight Ends

The tight end position in this showdown matchup doesn't truly present the upside that we have seen on other showdown slates. For the Seahawks, their best tight end option is long-time NFL veteran Greg Olsen. Olsen has seen an uptick in targets as he has seen 13 targets combined over his last two games while he has hauled in 10 of those targets for catches. Behind Olsen is Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister but they are not as involved in the passing game as Olsen is.

On the other side of this game, The Vikings have two solid tight ends that see the field over 60% of all offensive snaps in  Irv Smith Jr. and Kyle Rudolph. The downside with the Vikings is that they rarely utilize the tight ends in the passing game as both tight ends combine for less than four targets per game. With how good the rushing attack is and how the Vikings force-feed their receivers, the tight ends for the Vikings are nothing more than long shot tournament punts.

Analysis: Olsen is really the only consistent tight end play on the slate that would be viable for cash games due to volume and target share. The combo of Rudolph and Smith Jr. are tournament plays but carry a very low floor.

 

DFS Defense/Special Teams

With the over/under set at 56.5, it might be best to fade both defenses on this slate. Both teams have struggled against the pass which could create a bit of a back and forth contest through the air if both ground games begin to sputter. When also factoring in the high-scoring potential of this game, both kickers could be viable in all roster formats. Jason Myers has not had too many opportunities when it comes to field goal chances since the Seahawks have been able to convert many of their drives into touchdowns so a good chunk of his points comes from extra-point tries. Dan Bailey has seen more field goal opportunities than Myers but their offense has not been as elite as the Seahawks has been so if the Vikings stall out on drives, Bailey could see several opportunities.

Analysis: Both defenses have struggled so it is best to fade them in cash games while both kickers could be viable due to the high-scoring potential of this game.

 

Good luck, RotoBallers, and remember to mix it up and don't be afraid to be different in these large field GPPs!



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Thursday Night Football DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings

Week 5 of the NFL season is just beginning as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Chicago Bears! The Buccaneers and Bears game currently has a 44.5 over/under with the Bucs being favored by 3.5 points.

In this article, I will be providing you with daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for Thursday Night Football on October 8th, 2020 (Week 5). These lineups can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on FanDuel. Lineup construction can differ greatly from FanDuel to DraftKings with the biggest difference being the Captain and MVP slots. On DK, you'll pay 1.5x the salary of a player in order to roster them as your captain while the price doesn't change on FanDuel.

If you have any questions you can follow me on Twitter @jorgepucks and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with myself and other NFL DFS analysts any time you'd like!

 

DFS Quarterbacks

The last time we saw these two quarterbacks playing against each other in a meaningful game was in Super Bowl LII when Nick Foles led the Philadelphia Eagles past the New England Patriots. Fast forward a few years and here we are seeing them battle it out on Thursday Night Football with brand new teams. Nick Foles supplanted Mitch Trubisky as the starter in Chicago and takes on a tough task going up against a Bucs secondary that has generated five interceptions and 14 sacks through the first four games of the season. Foles gives the Bears a little more security at the position and did a great job leading a major comeback against the Falcons but this will be a daunting challenge as he looks to keep up with Brady.

Tom Brady had a big day last Sunday as he threw for 369 yards and five touchdowns against the Chargers. On the season, Brady has thrown for 1,122 yards and 11 touchdowns while only being picked off four times. While he is out Chris Godwin and Justin Watson, he will have reliable targets in Mike Evans and Scotty Miller to throw too in addition to Ronald Jones II and Rob Gronkowski. The Bears Defense has done well defending the pass as they are limiting opposing offenses to just 230 passing yards and holding opposing quarterbacks to 12.4 fantasy points scored per game.

Other plays: With both quarterbacks having tough matchups, it might be tough to trust both of them in cash games. Brady has the overall better matchup in this game and is trustworthy in casg games while Foles is viable in tournaments.

 

DFS Running Backs

The running back situations for both teams seem to be pretty straight forward for this Thursday night game. With Leonard Fournette labeled as doubtful and LeSean McCoy listed as out, it looks like Ronald Jones II will see most of the workload in the running game. Jones is coming off of a big-time performance as he had 111 yards on 20 carries while hauling in six catches on nine targets. With a workload like this, it is hard to fade him in any format. Taking on the backup duties will be Ke'Shawn Vaughn. Vaughn saw some targets against the Chargers and even hauled in a catch for a touchdown so he does have some appeal in large tournament formats. The Bears are in the middle of the pack when it comes to rushing defense as they are allowing 115 yards per game on the ground which means this seems to be a solid matchup for the Bucs rushing attack.

The Bears rely heavily on David Montgomery to be their bell-cow type back. Montgomery has seen double-digit carries in each of the first four games of the season and is also seeing a little over four targets per game. While he hasn't found paydirt on the ground, he has notched a receiving touchdown in week two against the Giants. With how the Bears have fallen behind early in games, it doesn't favor the game script for the Bears to pound the rock as they have in prior years so his upside can be limited. The Bears have been using Cordarrelle Patterson and Darnell Mooney on sweeps and end-around plays as compliments to Montgomery and their traditional run plays. The Bucs have a very stingy run defense as they ranked second in the league with allowing only 64.3 rushing yards per game so Montgomery will need to get involved in the passing game to see any type of fantasy success.

Other plays: Jones offers the most upside of all of the running backs on the slate due to his snaps and target share while Montgomery gives your lineups a solid floor. Both are viable in all formats while Vaughn could be used in tournament lineups.

DFS Wide Receivers

The Thursday night showdown features some receivers that can really bring upside to your lineups. For the Bucs, they look to be banged up as Chris Godwin and Justin Watson are listed as out for this game while Scotty Miller and Mike Evans both carry the questionable tag. If they were able to go, they would be great candidates in all formats. Evans has been on fire over the last three weeks as he has recorded 16 catches in 22 targets while accumulating 228 yards during that stretch. He has been a big target for Brady as he has hauled in five touchdowns in four games played this season and will continue to see a high target volume with Godwin being out. Miller is another receiver that benefits both Godwin and Watson out as he has seen 12 total targets over his last two games and has become a reliable target for Brady in the slot. Outside of them, Jaydon Mickens and Tyler Johnson could see playing time since the depth at the receiver position for the Bucs seems to be low this week.

For the Bears, the conversation always starts with Allen Robinson II. A-Rob ranks fifth in the league in his team's target share percentage (26.1%) while averaging 10.2 targets per game. Robinson has produced back-to-back 100-yard performances while also snagging a touchdown in both of those games. While the Bears offense isn't explosive, Robinson sees enough targets to be viable in all formats. Outside of Robinson, the Bears have Anthony Miller and Darnell Mooney who are battling for the #2 spot on the roster. We have seen Miller succeed in the slot before and Mooney has seen an uptick in targets over his last two games played so they both could be considered in tournaments.

Other plays: Evans, Robinson, and Scotty Miller are the safest receiving options on this slate and are viable in both cash games and tournaments. If needing salary relief, Anthony Miller, Darnell Mooney, Jaydon Mickens, and Tyler Johnson could be salary relief candidates in tournaments.

 

DFS Tight Ends

If this were 2014, we would have a big-time tight end matchup on our hands. Rob Gronkowski has been pretty quiet to start the season for the Bucs as he has only hauled in nine total catches for 88 yards. With O.J. Howard going on IR for an Achilles injury, Gronk could see an uptick in targets but will still have to deal with the other tight end vulture that is Cameron Brate. Brate hauled in his only target against the Chargers for a touchdown and we have seen him be involved in the red-zone prior to Gronk arriving in Tampa.

For the Bears, Jimmy Graham as really emerged as a receiving threat in this offense. He is seeing over five targets per game and has already brought in three touchdown catches throughout the first four weeks of the season. Graham has been a great safety blanket in this offense and could be viable in all formats. Outside of him, Demetrius Harris and Cole Kmet are the other Bears tight ends that they rotate in and out but are not as reliable from a fantasy standpoint like Graham is.

Other plays: Graham offers the safest floor while Gronk is the best option for the Bucs. The cheaper priced option for tournaments would be Brate but he carries a low floor.

 

DFS Defense/Special Teams

While both defenses have been a little shaky at times to start the season, the safer of the two options is looking like the Buccaneers Defense. Chicago's offense ranks 24th in the league in scoring (21.3 points per game) and with how well the Bucs get to opposing quarterbacks (14 sacks) and generate turnovers (five interceptions, three fumble recoveries), it is hard to imagine them not being able to have success in this matchup. Both of these teams have had their fair share of kicking troubles and it would be wise to not trust either kicking option in cash games.

Other plays: Bucs D/ST offers the best upside out of this group and is even viable in cash games. Both Cairo Santos and Ryan Succop could be used in tournament formats but are risky plays given that they have missed two field goals out of seven attempts each.

 

Good luck, RotoBallers, and remember to mix it up and don't be afraid to be different in these large field GPPs!



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Disaster Recovery - Week 4's Studs Turned Duds

In Week 4 of the NFL season, the action on the field took a backseat to the questions and caution off it. Due to positive coronavirus tests, one game was postponed until later in the season, and another was delayed a day. Even separate from all the drastic and dramatic health and safety issues these failed tests pose, the fantasy football season has been thrown for a loop. Having specific players test positive and sit out is one thing. No one can be sure, though, when entire teams will be forced to the sidelines. Bye weeks are in flux and open to change.

Just this week, heavy hitters like Derrick Henry, Jonnu Smith, Ryan Tannehill, James Conner, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Ben Roethlisberger were unexpectedly unavailable. We almost lost the high-flying Chiefs offense as well. They failed to live up to expectations anyway, but perhaps that had a great deal to do with not knowing if they would even be able to play this past week. Unlike any season we've had before, every week is in question.

That would normally make the consistency of the stars of fantasy all the more important, but they are not immune to these upheavals. Even the best of players put up dud performances. Not all duds are created equal though. Some disastrous performances are signs of more to come. Here are Week 4's studs turned duds.

 

DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals

As the Arizona offense took a tumble, Hopkins was one of the biggest disappointments of the week. He finished with a paltry 4.1 fantasy points in non-PPR leagues. His seven receptions salvaged the day in PPR, but this was easily his worst outing of the young season. Hopkins continues to be Kyler Murray's favorite option; he's received at least nine targets in every game this season, including Week 4. Perhaps missing practice during the week indicated hampered explosiveness would be in store. Everything should be back to normal this week. Facing the New York Jets is a salve to heal all wounds.

Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals

Another failure in the Arizona offense this week was Drake. He finished with 35 rushing yards and nothing through the air for his worst game of the season. But Drake's performances have all been trending in the wrong direction. His breakout last year indicated he could be a stud-in-waiting. That conclusion now feels misguided, or at least premature. He is averaging just 3.8 yards per carry and is almost a non-factor in the passing game. Considering how rarely he's facing eight men in the box, his production has been well under expectation. Drake is seeing 8+ defenders just 7.46 percent of the time, the eighth-lowest mark in the league. And yet, his rushing yards over expected is -36, third-worst in the sport. Just like Hopkins, facing NY could help a bounce back, but Drake is in far greater peril of not returning to stud status again.

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

Speaking of being permanently removed from stud status, Ertz is gone. He was looking like the second-best tight end on his own team when the season got under way. Then, when Dallas Goedert got hurt, Ertz never picked it up. He has one score on the year and is averaging fewer than 35 yards per game despite being a slam-dunk draft pick as the third tight end off the board. Robert Tonyan nearly scored as many fantasy points in one game as Ertz has all season long. And this for a team that has few other playmakers on offense to siphon off targets. Things do not get any easier this week against Pittsburgh. It's official; there are only two stud tight ends in the NFL. Ertz is out.

Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks

After three superb performances put Lockett into the upper echelon of the wide receiver position, Week 4 was a real letdown. He saw only four targets, made two catches, and collected 39 yards. Lockett is still in good shape moving forward. He's 10th in the league in targets among wide receivers; his catch percentage is sixth-best among anyone with at least 25 targets. Look no further than comparing him to the studs in Kansas City. Lockett has the same average separation as Tyreek Hill and the same average cushion and total targets as Travis Kelce. He is one of the best.

Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons

Jones was healthy enough to play this week, but only for one half. He never returned for the second half of Monday night's game. Half a game saw him collect four catches for 32 yards. Even doubled to a full 60 minutes, this would not be what Jones' managers are looking for. Through four weeks, Jones has had one good game, missed a week entirely, and had two partial weeks where he couldn't offer full effort. At what point would Atlanta be better off shutting him down for a while and actually getting him back to full strength, a la what Davante Adams complained about Green Bay doing to him? The back and forth of Jones is doing Matt Ryan no favors, as his performance has plummeted the last two weeks as well.

In other dud-because-of-injury situations, Nick Chubb went on IR after a 43-yard performance resulted in an MCL sprain. We'll have to wait and see whether this returns Kareem Hunt to stud status. Knee and hamstring injuries also brought down Austin Ekeler in the midst of an outing that netted 14 total yards from scrimmage. Rookie Joshua Kelley needs to control his fumbling issues before he can be considered an every-down replacement for Ekeler.



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Monday Night Football DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings

Week 4 of the NFL season is coming to a close and the Monday Night Football slate features two fun matchups as the Green Bay Packers take on the Atlanta Falcons and the Kansas City Chiefs take on the New England Patriots! The Packers and Falcons game currently has a 56.5 over/under with the Packers being favored by 7.5 points while the Patriots and Chiefs game sits at an over/under of 50 with the Chiefs being favored by 11 points.

In this article, I will be providing you with daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for Monday Night Football on October 5th, 2020 (Week 4). These lineups can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on FanDuel. Lineup construction can differ greatly from FanDuel to DraftKings with the biggest difference being the Captain and MVP slots. On DK, you'll pay 1.5x the salary of a player in order to roster them as your captain while the price doesn't change on FanDuel.

If you have any questions you can follow me on Twitter @jorgepucks and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with myself and other NFL DFS analysts any time you'd like!

 

DFS Quarterbacks

Patrick Mahomes

Mahomes is arguably the best quarterback in the league and while the Patriots Defense can be stingy (thanks to the game planning of Bill Belichick), Mahomes should never be overlooked in any matchup. Through the first three weeks of the season,  Mahomes is averaging 299 passing yards and three touchdowns per game which is resulting in 31.3 DK points per game. The Patriots are tied for second in the league with four interceptions on opposing quarterbacks but they have allowed seven passing touchdowns which are tied for the third most amount in the league. The Patriots have gotten to Mahomes in the past as he has had five passing touchdowns but three interceptions in just two career games played. Mahomes is viable in all formats as he carries the largest upside at the quarterback position on this two-game slate.

Aaron Rodgers

If you were looking to get a little bit of a discount (double-check) and not spend up for Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers is in a great spot to pivot too. Rodgers is coming off of an impressive performance as he threw for 283 yards and three touchdowns on the road against the Saints on Sunday Night Football and has been in great form to start the 2020 season. Through his first three games, Rodgers has totaled 887 yards and nine touchdowns while having no interceptions. The Falcons Defense has struggled mightily as they are second to last in passing yards allowed per game (350.3) while also being second to last in points allowed per game to opponents (36). If Rodgers is able to get star receiver Davante Adams back in the mix tonight, he should be able to have his way against a porous Falcons defense.

Other plays: Matt Ryan

 

DFS Running Backs

Aaron Jones

The Packers running back situation has really started and stopped with Aaron Jones this year. He has been on fire to start the season as he has been a do-it-all kind of back for the Packers. Jones is averaging 101 rushing yards per game while also averaging over one rushing touchdown per game and is heavily involved in the passing game as he is seeing six targets per game as well. The Falcons have been solid against the run but have struggled to defend against the position on passing situations as they have allowed over 100 yards receiving and are tied for the most receiving touchdowns from opposing running backs (2). With how involved Jones is in both the rushing and passing game, it is hard to pass him up in all formats.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire

The Chiefs rookie running back has shown flashes of upside in this Chiefs offense and has really seen an involvement in their passing game over their last two games played. Edwards-Helaire has recorded 11 catches on 14 targets while racking up over 100 receiving yards over his last two games while also averaging 15 rushing attempts over that two-game span. The Chiefs have committed to the run a little more this year as they look to balance their offensive attack which means Edwards-Helaire could be more involved as the season progresses. The Patriots defense will have their hands full containing Hill, Watkins, and Kelce, so Edwards-Helaire could find himself in favorable matchups throughout the night.

Other plays: Todd Gurley II, Rex Burkhead

DFS Wide Receivers

Julio Jones

Julio Jones looks to be good to go for tonight's game against the Packers and while he has gotten off to a slow start due to injuries, he could be in line to bounce back against Green Bay. His price point seems too good to be true on DK at just $6,000 and with Calvin Ridley garnering more attention than he has in the past, it could allow for more one on one matchups with the Packers secondary. green bay has done well against opposing receivers as they have only allowed 417 receiving yards to opposing wideouts. With this game projected to be a high-scoring affair, Jones seems to be a great play in all formats.

Tyreek Hill

The speedy Hill has found success against the Patriots in previous games and with other big named receivers on the slate, he could go a tad overlooked in tournaments. Hill has played four games against the Patriots and is averaging 7 catches and 94.75 receiving yards per game while also hauling in four touchdowns in that four-game sample size. The Patriots really try to shut down weapons like Travis Kelce and opposing running backs so it could be a big night if Hill can get behind the Patriots secondary.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling

With Allen Lazard set to miss this game, MVS could take on a bigger role in the offense. In their last game against the Saints, Davante Adams sat out which meant it was up to Lazard and MVS to produce at the receiver position but MVS drew the unfortunate task of being blanketed by stud corner Marshon Lattimore. Lattimore shut down MVS while as Rodgers keened in on Lazard but this could all change this week with the emergence of Adams back into the lineup. While he is more of a big-play threat for this Packers offense, MVS could see an uptick in targets especially if Adams is unable to go as well. Coming into this game, MVS is tied for the second-most targets on the team at the wide receiver position with Lazard and has the third-highest snap percentage on this offense (68.8%) so if needing a value play from this team, MVS would be one to look at.

Other plays: Davante Adams, Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage, Sammy Watkins, N'Keal Harry

 

DFS Tight Ends

Travis Kelce

Kelce is the best tight end in the game and is one of Mahomes' top targets to go to in key games. Kelce has been heavily involved in the Chiefs offense to start the 2020 season as he is seeing nine targets per game and is averaging 18.6 DK points per game. The Patriots have done well limiting Kelce's upside as he is averaging 65 receiving yards against them and has only hauled in one receiving touchdown in four career games against them. The New England defense has been stellar against opposing tight ends so far this season as they have held tight ends to just eight total receptions for 73 receiving yards. Even though the matchup is tough for Kelce, he offers the most upside at the position and should not be overlooked in tournaments.

Robert Tonyan

With all of the injuries to the Packers receiving corps, Robert Tonyan could see an uptick in targets in tonight's game. Tonyan has seen eight targets over the last two games and has eclipsed double-digit DK points over that same time span. The Falcons have struggled to defend against opposing tight ends as they have allowed over 300 receiving yards and four touchdowns to this position in their first three games of the season.

Other plays: Hayden Hurst

 

DFS Defense/Special Teams

Kansas City Chiefs Defense

The Chiefs definitely got lucky with Cam Newton being labeled as out for this game (COVID) and will either face Brian Hoyer or Jarrett Stidham. Neither of those quarterbacks carries the upside that Cam provides to the Patriots and even though Bill Belichick will have some tricks up his sleeve for the Chiefs Defense, it is hard to imagine Hoyer or Stidham having the type of impact on the game like Newton presents. The Chiefs defense has done well so far as they are limiting opponents to scoring just 20 points per game which is fifth overall in the league. For the Patriots to win this game, they will need to pound the rock consistently but part of their success on the ground is the threat of Newton running the ball himself

Other plays: Green Bay Packers Defense

 

Good luck, RotoBallers, and remember to mix it up and don't be afraid to be different in these large field GPPs!



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Be sure to also check out all of our other daily fantasy football articles and analysis to help you set those winning lineups, including this new RotoBaller YouTube video:

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Sunday Night Football DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings

Week 4 of the NFL season is underway and the Sunday Night Football showdown slate features a fun matchup as the Philadelphia Eagles take on the San Francisco 49ers! This game currently has a 45.5 over/under with the 49ers being favored by 3.5 points.

In this article, I will be providing you with daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for Sunday Night Football on October 4th, 2020 (Week 4). These lineups can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on FanDuel. Lineup construction can differ greatly from FanDuel to DraftKings with the biggest difference being the Captain and MVP slots. On DK, you'll pay 1.5x the salary of a player in order to roster them as your captain while the price doesn't change on FanDuel.

If you have any questions you can follow me on Twitter @jorgepucks and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with myself and other NFL DFS analysts any time you'd like! Now let's break this slate down and make some cash as we get ready for the full Sunday slate of games!

 

DFS Quarterbacks

We get a great coaching matchup which also trickles down to what could be good quarterback play for this showdown slate. Carson Wentz has gotten off to a very slow start but some of that could be attributed to the lack of receiving options to start the season. The Eagles have been decimated due to injuries which explains why Wentz and company have gotten off to a slow start. Wentz is throwing 40+ times to start the season but has turned the ball over more times than he has found the end zone which has limited his true upside. San Francisco is limiting opposing teams to just 187 passing yards per game but some of that strong passing defense can be attributed to the opponents they faced so far this season (Jets and Giants specifically).

Nick Mullens will be drawing the start for San Fran this week as Jimmy Garoppolo is still nursing an ankle injury. Mullens had an efficient start during week 3 against the Giants as he completed 25 of his 36 passing attempts for 343 yards and a passing touchdown. In this matchup against Philly, he will have the top targets returning for San Fran in George Kittle and Deebo Samuel which only gives him more of a boost on this showdown slate. The Eagles are allowing opposing quarterbacks to average 19.06 fantasy points per game against them but one thing that stands out is they have allowed six passing touchdowns through the first three games of the season.

Summary: Both quarterbacks make for solid cash plays and tournament plays on this slate. Mullens has the better supporting cast right now but Wentz is the better overall quarterback so using them in the captain roles is certainly viable.  

 

DFS Running Backs

Both teams look to establish the run early on in the game but it could be a tough night on the ground as their opposing defenses rank in the top against opposing running backs. The Eagles finally have Miles Sanders healthy and he has produced two great weeks of work as he has averaged 95 rushing yards per game and has seen 15 pass-catching targets in his two games played. When healthy, Sanders is the bell-cow back and doesn't concede snaps but if he were to give up snaps, Boston Scott would be next in line on the depth chart. With the lack of true receiving options for Philly, Sanders could see an uptick in targets and is viable in all formats while Scott would see limited action.

The running back position has been rough on the 49ers in the early part of the season as Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman both suffered injuries in week 2. Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson Jr. are splitting the lead back duties as they have been even in carries and are both getting targets in the passing game. The Eagles run defense has been very good as they are only allowing 84.3 yards per game on the ground so the 49ers running back tandem will have to be involved in the passing game for any upside potential in this matchup.

Summary: Miles Sanders is the safest option at the running back position. He will see volume in both the passing and running game and offers the most upside at the position. McKinnon and Wilson Jr. are viable tournament options as they will be splitting carries throughout the game. 

DFS Wide Receivers

Both teams have been hit with the injury bug in the wide receiver department so this will be tricky to navigate. The Eagles will be without Alshon Jeffery, Jalan Reagor, and DeSean Jackson while also labeling J.J. Arcega-Whiteside as doubtful for this Sunday night matchup. This leaves the receiving cupboard really empty as Greg Ward and John Hightower look to fill the receiving void left behind due to injuries. Ward saw 11 targets in his last game against the Bengals and looks to be the best wide receiver option for the Eagles. John Hightower looks to provide good value as he is one of the lower-priced options on Philly but should carry a larger role as he will be thrust into the starting lineup.

San Fran has had its fair share of injuries at the wide receiver position as Tavon Austin, Jalen Hurd, Richie James Jr., and Chris Thompson were all placed on IR. Deebo Samuel has also been on IR but looks to be ready to go for this matchup against Philly. Samuel is an extreme value on DK as he is just $200 which opens up salary for the rest of your lineup. He is a true playmaker for this 49ers squad but it should also be noted that he could be eased back into the offense so he might not assume his full role until later in the season. Brandon Aiyuk had a big game against the Giants as he recorded five catches on eight targets while having three rushing attempts for 31 yards and a rushing touchdown. He will have a prominent role in this offense and will be one of the top receiving options moving forward for San Fran. Kendrick Bourne has seen consistent targets throughout the first three weeks of the season and will continue to be involved in the offense in three-wide receiver sets. Outside of those options, Trent Taylor, Mohamed Sanu, and Dane Pettis round out the receiving group but only have appeal in large multi-entering formats.

Summary: Ward and Aiyuk provide the safest options on this slate at the wide receiver position. Bourne, Hightower, and Arcega-Whiteside are secondary options that are viable in tournaments but could also be squeezed into cash lineups. Taylor, Sanu, and Pettis only warrant consideration in large-field tournaments. 

 

DFS Tight Ends

This game features some of the best pass-catching tight ends in the game which makes them both viable options on this showdown slate. For the Eagles, the tight end group is led by Zach Ertz who has been a top receiving tight end option over the last five seasons. Dallas Goedert landed on the IR which only bodes well for Ertz who should only get more targets moving forward. Ertz is averaging 11.3 DK points per game and is coming off of a season-high 10 targets against the Bengals. Ertz is averaging five catches on eight targets per game and while he has only found the end zone once this season, he is due to the lack of receiving options for this Eagles squad. Behind Kittle on the Eagles depth chart sits Richard Rodgers and newly signed player in Hakeem Butler. Rodgers is a long-time NFL vet that doesn't offer much upside in the passing game while Butler is intriguing as he was a former wide receiver that has now been converted to a tight end. This was a low-risk high upside move that provided the Eagles with more depth at the position.

For San Fran, George Kittle is the go-to man in this offense. He has been out the past several weeks due to a knee injury that was suffered in week 1 against Arizona but seems to be back and good to go for this matchup. Jordan Reed was his backup and saw plenty of action while Kittle was gone as he accrued nine catches on 14 targets while hauling in two passing touchdowns. Jordan Reed suffered a knee sprain that will sideline him for multiple weeks which means Kittle will be thrust back into the main tight end spot now that he is fully healthy. Backing up Kittle is Ross Dwelley who would be considered a long shot tournament play if mass multi entering.

Summary: Both Kittle and Ertz are great plays on this slate. With the lack of true receiving options, both of them operate like the top receivers in their offenses. Dwelley, Rodgers, and Butler are all value plays in tournaments that open up salary for the rest of your lineup. 

 

DFS Defense/Special Teams

Even though San Francisco is banged up, their defense has been doing well as they are holding opponents to 15.3 points per game while limiting opposing offenses to just 304 yards per game which is the third-fewest in the league. With how turnover prone the Eagles have been to start the season, the 49ers Defense is in play. Robbie Gould and Jake Elliott are some of the more reliable kickers in the league and with how injuries have plagued their teams' offenses to start the season, it wouldn't be surprising if the offensive drives stalled out in this game resulting in field goal opportunities on both sides.

Summary: The San Francisco defense has done well despite being hit with injuries and could be in consideration for your lineup builds. Kicking could be crucial in this game which makes both Robbie Gould and Jake Elliott viable for tournament options. 

Good luck, RotoBallers, and remember to mix it up and don't be afraid to be different in these large field GPPs!



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Be sure to also check out all of our other daily fantasy football articles and analysis to help you set those winning lineups, including this new RotoBaller YouTube video:

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Thursday Night Football DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings

Week 4 of the NFL season is underway and the Thursday Night Football showdown slate features an interesting matchup as the Denver Broncos take on the New York Jets! This game currently has a 39.5 over/under with the Broncos being favored by 1 point.

In this article, I will be providing you with daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for Thursday Night Football on October 1st, 2020 (Week 4). These lineups can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on FanDuel. Lineup construction can differ greatly from FanDuel to DraftKings with the biggest difference being the Captain and MVP slots. On DK, you'll pay 1.5x the salary of a player in order to roster them as your captain while the price doesn't change on FanDuel.

If you have any questions you can follow me on Twitter @jorgepucks and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with myself and other NFL DFS analysts any time you'd like! Now let's break this slate down and make some cash as we get ready for the full Sunday slate of games!

 

DFS Quarterbacks

The quarterback options are not quite what we saw on Monday night but could both be viable with how the opposing defenses they are facing have been struggling as of late. The Broncos are still without Drew Lock and with a rough outing from Jeff Driskel against the Bucs, Vic Fangio turned the keys over to the offense to Brett Rypien. The former Boise State product completed eight of nine passes for 53 yards while tossing an interception in his lone drive with the first-team offense against Tampa Bay. The Jets are allowing 239 passing yards per game which is 15th in the league but when analyzing their previous games, opposing teams are getting up on New York early which is limiting the passing upside due to the game script.

Sam Darnold is clearly the best quarterback on this slate and gets a favorable matchup against the 29th passing defense of Denver. Darnold has gotten a bit of a short stick this year with poor coaching and the lack of true offensive weapons which hinders his actual upside. On the season, Darnold has completed 61.4% of his passes while only throwing for 187 passing yards and a touchdown per game. Denver's defense has not been good and it all started with the loss of Von Miller for the entire season. With the matchup being favorable, Darnold is certainly viable regardless of how poor his first couple of games have been.

Summary: Darnold is the safer option for cash games while Rypien could be added to your player pool for tournament builds

 

DFS Running Backs

Both teams have struggled running the football in the first three weeks so it makes it tough to truly rely on any of the running backs. The best back in this showdown slate is Melvin Gordon III. He is averaging 13.6 DK points per game but as we saw in their last game against Tampa if Denver gets behind early, his rushing attempts go down and he might get phased out of the game script. Luckily for us, this game should remain close which makes Gordon a viable option. Phillip Lindsay is a solid backup for Gordon but looks to be unable to go which means Royce Freeman slides up the depth chart and will see some snaps behind Gordon.

The Jets have really struggled to establish an efficient run game and with injuries to both Le'Veon Bell and stud young tackle Mekhi Becton (still has a shot at playing in tonight's game), they are relying on wily old vet Frank Gore to carry the rock. Gore has seen 36 rushing attempts over his last two games but is only churning out 48 rushing yards per game. The matchup against Denver is not great as they rank 7th in the league by only allowing opposing running backs to gain 107 yards on the ground per game. La'Mical Perine and Kalen Ballage will be backing up Gore with Ballage being the more viable of the two running backs. While it does not feel great rostering a Jets running back in this matchup, Ballage saw five targets this past game and is obviously liked by Gase since the Jets head coach tried to trade for him prior to the start of the 2020 season.

Summary: Melvin Gordon III looks to be the strongest option for both cash games and tournaments lineups. Gore will get his rushing attempts but does not have the upside that will help you takedown tournaments unless he finds the end zone. Ballage and Freeman are serviceable if looking for value on this slate. 

DFS Wide Receivers

This is a spot where you can get really different with your roster construction on this slate. Both teams have dealt with injuries throughout the receiver position so we might be considering guys that should be third or fourth on the depth charts. Starting with the Broncos, they lost Courtland Sutton for the season which means their 2020 draft picks in Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler will be seeing plenty of action for the rest of the season. Jeudy is the top receiving option on this team and has actually been fairly consistent as he has seen 24 targets through the first three weeks. He has hauled in 13 of those targets and racked up 173 receiving yards but has yet to find the end zone for his first-ever professional touchdown. Jeudy is the safest receiving option for Denver and could be used in all formats. Outside of Jeudy, Tim Patrick and K.J. Hamler are the two other receiving options to focus on. Hamler was activated after Sutton went own with his injury and has actually been used quite a bit as he is averaging six targets per game and has the second-highest target share percentage of active Broncos receivers.

For the Jets, it all starts with Jamison Crowder. He had an explosive week 1 as he recorded seven catches for 115 yards and a touchdown but has missed some time due to an injured hamstring. While he might not be 100%, it seems as if he will give it a go in tonight's contest which will help the Jets from an offensive standpoint. Outside of Crowder, the Jets have looked to involve both Braxton Berrios and Chris Hogan into their offense. Berrios has seen 12 targets over the last two games played and is averaging over 16 DK points over his last two games played. With Crowder back, his role might dip a little bit but is still viable on this slate.

Summary: Jeudy and Crowder are the safest receiver options on this slate. With the lack of explosiveness on both sides, Hogan, Hamler, Patrick, and Berrios are all viable tournament options.

 

DFS Tight Ends

With both offenses getting off to slow starts this season, the tight end position could be worth looking at for your showdown lineups. The Broncos have really involved Noah Fant in their offensive gameplan and he is emerging into one of the better young tight ends in the game. Fant is averaging seven targets per game and has racked up a 15.5 DK point per game average through the first three weeks of the 2020 season. He draws a favorable matchup against New York who has surrendered three touchdowns to opposing tight ends already this season.

For the Jets, their primary tight end option is Chris Herndon who has been actually disappointing from a fantasy standpoint. While he has seen 16 total targets in the first three weeks, he has only amassed 63 total receiving yards on 10 catches. With all of the receiving options hurting for the Jets, one would think Herndon would be more involved in the passing game moving forward but with his lack of true receiving production, he is best served as a deep shot in tournaments.

Summary: Fant stands out to be the better tight end option on this slate. You can trust him in both cash game and tournament builds while Herndon is better off left for tournament builds and should be included in stacks with Darnold. 

 

DFS Defense/Special Teams

With the low game total, it could be viable to consider both defenses on this slate. The one downside is that neither defense has really shown upside as they have combined for just two interceptions so far this season while averaging just over one sack per game. Both kickers are in play as this game could be a battle of field position and with both teams sputtering near the red zone, it could be a battle between the kickers.

Summary: Both defenses could be in play but more so in tournaments. Kicking could be crucial in this game which makes both Brandon McManus and Sam Ficken viable for tournament options. 

Good luck, RotoBallers, and remember to mix it up and don't be afraid to be different in these large field GPPs!



Win Big With RotoBaller

Be sure to also check out all of our other daily fantasy football articles and analysis to help you set those winning lineups, including this new RotoBaller YouTube video:

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Disaster Recovery - Week 3's Studs Turned Duds

The NFL was low on studs in Week 3. The top two players in fantasy, Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley, were both out injured. Three of the top wide receivers in football, Julio Jones, Davante Adams, and Michael Thomas, were all out as well. We also were without the second-best tight end in the game in George Kittle. All told, six of the top 25 fantasy players in the league were sidelined for Week 3. That left us with a lesser slate of stars than we are used to.

Exciting matchups and finishes helped fill the void. But from a fantasy perspective, it leaves something to be desired when Rex Burkhead and Justin Jefferson are two of the top 10 scorers for the week. It is a fun story and something that will impact the subsequent week's waiver wire, but this pair was not even on rosters in the majority of leagues, let alone in starting lineups. It's the reason we gravitate toward players who can put up stud performances consistently. Star players power fantasy and prevent the game from being as random as picking a name out of a hat.

But not all studs always perform up to their standards. Occasionally, these guys fall short of their and our expectations and play like a dud. When it happens outside of an injury, it is something worth exploring. Not all duds are created equal. Some disastrous performances are signs of more to come. Here are Week 3's studs turned duds.

Ezekiel Elliott

It seems silly to call Elliott a dud when he registered nearly 18 PPR points in Week 3. However, a touchdown helped salvage a very weak week for the stud running back. The flow of the Dallas game also worked against the workhorse runner. He managed just 14 carries for 34 yards on the ground. The touchdown and the six catches work just as well for fantasy owners, but the outing is something to monitor.

The Cowboys are throwing the ball more and more. This is partially due to them being down more than expected, and somewhat because their offensive line isn't as good as expected (which leads to them being down). The team also has a high-powered air attack with Dak Prescott and oodles of receiving weapons. All that leaches into Elliott's usage, and usage is one of his best "skills."

Each of the past four years (AKA Elliott's entire NFL career), Elliott has ranked higher in Football Outsiders' DYAR metric than its DVOA metric, and sometimes considerably so. As FO explains, "DYAR means a running back with more total value. DVOA means a running back with more value per play." That doesn't mean Elliott has been bad on a per play basis; he hasn't. But he generates so much production because of how often he is utilized. That utilization is trending in the wrong direction, coinciding with Prescott's pass attempts going from 39 to 47 to 57 in the three games this season. If Dallas continues to throw this much, Elliott will need a touchdown every game to salvage his fantasy week.

Lamar Jackson

Chalk it up to game flow; chalk it up to bad luck; or maybe it's because Jackson and company aren't as good as Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Either way, this doesn't harm Jackson's value moving forward. He won't be facing off against Mahomes again anytime soon. The week was saved somewhat by 83 yards on the ground, but the numbers are still ugly: 15-of-28 for a career-worst 97 yards passing and two fumbles (one lost). It's essentially a worst-case scenario for Jackson, which is why he's so valuable in fantasy. His legs will produce even when the offense can't complete a pass.

The performance dropped Jackson to 24th in the league in DVOA, just behind Baker Mayfield and Teddy Bridgewater. Yet he remains 13th in QBR, which factors in his rushing ability, among other things. Mahomes is number one overall in QBR, and we all saw why in the head-to-head matchup. Comparing Jackson to Mahomes so bluntly like that had to be a shot to his ego, but Jackson holds onto fantasy stud status with his KC counterpart.

Adam Thielen

Week 2 was easy to explain away. This one is not. The Minnesota offense bounced back in a major way, except it left Thielen behind. He reached the end zone but saw just five targets and made three catches for 29 yards. That was comparable to what he did a week ago, but Kirk Cousins and company kept throwing this time. Dalvin Cook saw the same amount of targets out of the backfield. And rookie Justin Jefferson went off for 175 yards on nine targets. It was essentially the game Thielen was supposed to have.

In the long run, Jefferson becoming a legitimate threat should help Thielen, but what if the young man also passes him in the pecking order? It is far too early to leap to that conclusion. More pressing is trying to balance Minnesota's strength of running the ball (Cook is third in the league in yards over expected) with how often one expects them to be trailing and need to pass to catch up. Thielen remains a top option for Week 4 assuming his Minnesota squad isn't stuck in quarantine after facing Tennessee.

Mike Evans

Evans must be mentioned here as well. Sure, he tallied double-digit fantasy points but put up one of the weirdest lines I can remember. He caught two passes for two yards and two touchdowns. That gives him 108 yards and four touchdowns on the season. Extrapolated over the full year, Evans' final line would be 576 yards and 21 or 22 touchdowns. That is...unsustainable in both aspects. Evans is tied for second in the league in targets inside the five yard line. That's good. He is currently 66th in percentage of team air yards. That's bad. His separation has been okay; his catch percentage less than ideal. Nothing sticks out as a major issue, though, other than his target share. We need to see more from the connection with Tom Brady to know if this is real or noise. For now, the touchdowns will sustain us.

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Monday Night Football DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings (Week 3)

Week 3 of the NFL season is underway and the Monday night football showdown slate features a fantastic matchup as the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Baltimore Ravens! This game currently has a 53.5 over/under with the Ravens being favored by 3.5 points.

In this article, I will be providing you with daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for Monday Night Football on September 28th, 2020 (Week 3). These lineups can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on FanDuel. Lineup construction can differ greatly from FanDuel to DraftKings with the biggest difference being the Captain and MVP slots. On DK, you'll pay 1.5x the salary of a player in order to roster them as your captain while the price doesn't change on FanDuel.

If you have any questions you can follow me on Twitter @jorgepucks and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with myself and other NFL DFS analysts any time you'd like! Now let's break this slate down and make some cash as we get ready for the full Sunday slate of games!

 

DFS Quarterbacks

This is truly an exciting matchup as we should get fantastic quarterback play from both Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. This will be Mahomes' third time taking on this tough Ravens Defense but he has been successful in his two prior games as he has thrown for a combined 700 yards and five touchdowns. In those two games, he averaged 27 DK points scored and was able to complete close to 70% of his passes. While Baltimore will apply pressure to Kansas City by blitzing, Mahomes has the arm talent and weapons around him to beat the blitzes that the Ravens bring.

Lamar Jackson is just as exciting as an NFL quarterback but he gets his work done a tad differently from Mahomes. While Mahomes racks up points with passing yardage and tossing touchdowns, Jackson uses both his arms and legs as ways to generate fantasy points. Jackson is averaging 12 rushing attempts per game while averaging close to 50 rushing yards per game. In the air, he is averaging 239 passing yards per game and two passing touchdowns per game. The Chiefs have a middle of the pack defense so Jackson should be able to generate offense and keep up with Mahomes.

Summary: Both QBs are viable in cash and tournaments and rostering them together could be a good move in tournaments. 

 

DFS Running Backs

The running back position on this slate could be one position that makes or break the slate in tournaments. Clyde Edwards-Helaire has fit in with this Chiefs team very nicely as he has been involved in both the running attack and passing game from the start of the season. While he struggled to get going on the ground in their game against the Chargers, he was a key focal point in the passing game as he caught six passes on eight targets for 32 yards. Backing up CEH is Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson both of whom are used lightly in the receiving game.

The Ravens have a more crowded backfield which makes it murky when trying to decipher the best running back plays from Baltimore. So far, Mark Ingram II, J.K. Dobbins, and Gus Edwards have all been on the field for more than 25% of the offensive snaps on the season with Ingram and Dobbins being the two main backs that are featured most frequently. Ingram leads all Ravens running backs with 19 rushing attempts through their first two games played while Dobbins leads the group with two touchdowns scored. While there is a running back by committee, it seems as if Ingram still is viewed as the lead back.

Summary: Clyde Edwards-Helaire looks to be the strongest option for both cash games and tournaments lineups. Ingram and Dobbins are risky but viable for cash and tournaments while Williams, Thompson, Gus Edwards are lower owned salary saving tournament fliers. 

DFS Wide Receivers

We have some home run hitters at the receiver position in this game so this is a group to really consider rostering on the showdown slate. For the Chiefs, the initial weapon is Tyreek Hill. The best deep threat in the league had himself a game against the Ravens back in 2018 as he recorded eight catches on 14 targets while grabbing 139 receiving yards. The Ravens have an aggressive defense which means they trust their corners out on islands against opposing receivers which usually favors speedy receivers like Hill. Sammy Watkins is another Kansas City receiver that has big playmaking ability but is questionable for this game. If he is unable to go, Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson both slide up the depth chart as tournament options to pair with Mahomes lines.

The Ravens are more of a run-first type of offense but have some playmakers at the receiving position to target. Their big-time playmaker is Marquise Brown who has big-time speed and big playmaking ability that defenses have to constantly account for. brown is averaging six targets per game this year and is averaging 13 DK points per game so he is the safest receiver to roster form the Ravens. Willie Snead IV and Miles Boykin are other receivers that should be considered with Boykin being one that has seen nine targets over the last two games played.

Summary:  Hill and Brown are the two best receiving options in this game. If Watkins plays, he is viable but carries some risk as he is more boom or bust. If looking for lower-priced players, Hardman, Robinson, Snead IV, and Boykin make for great tournament plays.  

 

DFS Tight Ends

In this game, we get a matchup of two of the premier pass-catching tight ends in the league. Travis Kelce has been the league's top tight end for several seasons and has gotten off to a hot start this season. Kelce has seen 20 combined targets in the first two games and hauled in 15 of those for catches. Kelce is averaging 21 DK points in this two-game span to start this season which definitely puts him into the captain conversation. The Ravens have had trouble containing Kelce in three career games as he has hauled in 20 catches on 24 targets for 239 receiving yards and a touchdown.

On the flip side, Mark Andrews has really emerged as a top target for Lamar Jackson in this Ravens offense and it would be no surprise if he is looked at heavily in this game. On the season, Andrews has six catches on nine total targets while notching two touchdowns so far this season. While he hasn't had the best success against the Chiefs in his career, his red-zone presence makes him a viable option on this slate.

Summary: With two of the premier pass-catching tight ends in the league featured in this game, they are both viable for cash games and tournament builds. 

 

DFS Defense/Special Teams

With the high game total, it is hard to imagine that these defenses will be able to slow down their opposing offenses. In their most recent meeting, the Chiefs beat the Ravens by the score of 33-28 in a high-scoring affair. While the defenses and special teams might not be in play, this matchup does feature two of the top kickers in the league. Justin Tucker has been a long time staple in the Ravens organization and is averaging 12.5 DK points per game. He is 5/5 on field-goal attempts and is 8/8 when it comes to extra points. For the Chiefs, Harrison Butker is coming off of a stellar performance against the Chargers as he went 3/3 with a game-winning 58-yard attempt.

Summary: Fading both defenses seems to be the best move on this slate. Both Justin Tucker and Harrison Butker are in play for tournament lineups as they could see plenty of opportunities. 

 

Good luck, RotoBallers, and remember to mix it up and don't be afraid to be different in these large field GPPs!



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Sunday Night Football DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings (Week 3)

Week 3 of the NFL season is underway and the Sunday night football showdown slate features a fantastic matchup as the Green Bay Packers take on the New Orleans Saints! This game currently has a 52.5 over/under with the Saints being favored by 3 points.

In this article, I will be providing you with daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for Sunday Night Football on September 27th, 2020 (Week 3). These lineups can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on FanDuel. Lineup construction can differ greatly from FanDuel to DraftKings with the biggest difference being the Captain and MVP slots. On DK, you'll pay 1.5x the salary of a player in order to roster them as your captain while the price doesn't change on FanDuel.

If you have any questions you can follow me on Twitter @jorgepucks and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with myself and other NFL DFS analysts any time you'd like! Now let's break this slate down and make some cash as we get ready for the full Sunday slate of games!

 

DFS Quarterbacks

We have a big-time battle between two potential NFL Hall of Fame candidates in Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers comes into this matchup leading the high-powered Packers offense who has scored the most points in the first two weeks of the season with a total of 85 points. Rodgers looks to be without stud receiver Davante Adams who holds a 25% target share on this team. The loss of Adams could hinder the Packer offense a bit which hurts the upside of rostering Rodgers. The Saints are coming off of a disappointing performance as they allowed 34 points to the Raiders on Monday night so with another prime time game at home, we can anticipate the Saints Defense will be bringing their "A" game.

On the other side of this game, we have Drew Brees who is looking to answer all of the critics who criticized him this week after having a slow start to the season against the Bucs and Raiders. Brees could also be without his top target in Michael Thomas but has built a solid rapport with other receivers in the Saints offense. The Packers Defense is only allowing opposing quarterbacks to throw for 251 yards per game but with the way their offense is moving the chains and scoring, it wouldn't be surprising if Brees and company will be able to get into a shootout with them in this game.

Summary: Both QBs are viable in cash and tournaments. Brees could see lower ownership due to all of the talk around him being "too old" or potentially "done" which makes him a good tournament candidate. 

 

DFS Running Backs

The running back position on this showdown slate is loaded and it wouldn't be a surprise to see multiple running backs in a showdown line. For the Packers, Aaron Jones has been on fire to start the season. He is averaging 117 rushing yards per game while also seeing seven passing targets per game as well. Jones is highly involved in the offense and while the Saints have not allowed a 100- yard rusher in 45 straight games, Jones will be used in all facets to where he is viable in all formats. Backing up Aaron Jones is Jamaal Williams who is seeing a solid amount of snaps for a backup running back. Williams is on the field for 41% of snaps but has only seen four total targets on the year.

Alvin Kamara is the go-to man for the Saints offense. While he hasn't been the most effective running back in terms of yardage, he has notched three total rushing touchdowns and has been a focal point in the receiving game. In the first two games, Kamara recorded 14 catches on 17 targets while also hauling in a touchdown. He has been one of the primary beneficiaries of Thomas being out and Green Bay is allowing five completions to other running backs. Latavius Murray was hardly used against the Raiders but one could argue that was potentially due to game script and for the Raiders taking control of the clock for the second half of the game. Murray is in a good bounce-back spot as a lot of attention will gravitate towards Kamara and the Saints receivers.

Summary: Kamara and Jones are both great options for both cash games and tournaments lineups. Williams and Murray are great salary saving options for tournaments as they serve as great secondary pieces in both the passing and running games. 

 

DFS Wide Receivers

This could be a really weird week as both Michael Thomas and Davante Adams could miss this game which leaves the door open for another receiver to step up and make a play. For the Packers, Marquez Valdez-Scantling and Allen Lazard seem to be the top two targets outside of Adams. They combine for 33% of the target share on the Packers and are second and fourth respectively when it comes to total targets. A few lower owned receivers that could get more time are Malik Taylor and Equanimeous St. Brown. While neither has seen much time on the field so far this year, they could be big-field tournament plays that open up salary for your roster.

For the Saints, we saw Tre'Quan Smith take the most snaps from the receiving group during Monday night's game. He was on the field for 88% of the offensive snaps and hauled in five catches on seven total targets which were second-most targets on the team. Emmanuel Sanders had a relatively quiet night on Monday as he only hauled in one catch on three targets. This will need to change in order for the Saints to find success in the passing game. If looking for some potentially lower owned Saints receiving options, Deonte Harris and Marquez Callaway would be the ones to look at. Harris saw 52% of offensive snaps on Monday while seeing five total targets. Callaway only saw 13 total snaps but his low salary and potentially lower ownership are enticing.

Summary:  If Thomas and Adams cannot go, it is tough to really peg several receiving options for cash game lineups. Smith and Valdez-Scantling seem to be the most reliable with Lazard and Sanders being the other two options to consider. Other options that could diversity your lineups in tournaments are Harris, Callaway, Taylor, and St. Brown.  

 

DFS Tight Ends

With all of the running back and receiving options in this game, it is difficult to really want to invest in any tight ends. The Saints have the most notable tight end in Jared Cook who would be the main one to target and look at with confidence. Cook is averaging 11.2 DK points per game and has seen 12 total targets over two weeks. He is seeing roughly 66% of offensive snaps so far this year and with Thomas being out, Cook could be in line for another solid outing. Josh Hill sits behind Cook on the depth chart and while he is seeing 33% of offensive snaps, he only has three targets on the season which is tough to trust unless you plan on multi-entering this slate.

For the Packers, the tight end position isn't as involved in the passing game as one would hope. On the season the Gren Bay tight ends group has seen eight total targets and that is divided out by four players. Robert Tonyan leads the group with three targets on the year and has played on 61% of all offensive snaps. Long time NFL veteran Marcedes Lewis is second on the team as he has played on 43% of offensive snaps for the Packers but has only seen one target.

Summary: Jared Cook is the best option for both cash games and tournament builds. Tonyan is worth a look in tournament builds while Hill and Lewis are nothing but fliers in multi-entry lineups. 

 

DFS Defense/Special Teams

With this game also carrying a high total, it doesn't seem like it would be best to consider any of the defenses. Both of these offenses know how to generate points and with two of the best quarterbacks in the game leading these squads, it's hard to imagine them turning the ball over.  If we are projecting lots of points scored, that means kickers could be involved. Both Will Lutz and Mason Crosby are viable options on this showdown slate and will be kicking in perfect conditions with this game being in the dome.

Summary: Fading both defenses seems to be the best move on this slate. Both Will Lutz and Mason Crosby are in play for tournament lineups as they could see plenty of opportunities. 

 

Good luck, RotoBallers, and remember to mix it up and don't be afraid to be different in these large field GPPs!



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Disaster Recovery - Week 2's Studs Turned Duds

The NFL season has begun essentially without a hitch. It was a large undertaking of which many were dubious. We have a long way to go, but so far, things have been smooth. The general scope and overall execution of the league, though, is different than specific action on the field. And Week 2 on the field was brutal; literally. Bill Barnwell counted 21 impact-generating injuries that occurred on a single Sunday. He also added a few more at the end of his article, essentially bringing us to a top 25ish.

From a fantasy perspective, there are loads of big names who will either be out for a while or will need to have their availability reevaluated before next weekend. The quick reaction is to blame the lack of a normal preseason. Torn ACLs (Saquon Barkley, Nick Bosa) or sprained joints (Drew Lock, Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert) aren't really symptoms of a lack of preparation though. They are just injuries that happen.

Thanks to the randomness of football, fantasy is always unpredictable, especially at the very beginning of a new season. Injuries notwithstanding, even the best of players put up dud performances. Not all duds are created equal though. Some disastrous performances are signs of more to come. Here are Week 2's studs turned duds.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire

The only way a manager salvaged Edwards-Helaire's week was if they play in a PPR league. CEH had 10 carries for just 38 yards to go along with six catches for 32 yards. His 7.0 non-PPR fantasy points were quite the shock after such an electrifying debut. Week 2 was actually positive, though, for his long-term outlook. His production was just a case of the game not playing out the way Kansas City would have planned.

The Chiefs trailed early and ended up throwing the ball 47 times, compared to just 16 non-quarterback carries on the ground. Because of that, CEH didn't get much run on the ground but did see his targets in the passing game rise from two in Week 1 to eight in Week 2: the third-most on the team. His Week 1 was outstanding despite doing nothing in the passing game. Week 2 proved he should be a threat in both aspects most games.

Julio Jones

Battling a hamstring injury all week, Jones gutted out a full performance, though one that lacked fantasy production. He finished with two catches for 24 yards on just four targets. It is odd to see such little production from Jones, even with an injury nagging him. It was his lowest receiving output since 2018. As for involvement in the offense, for the entirety of 2019, he never even had a game with fewer than seven targets, let alone four. In other words, if the injury doesn't keep him out, this should be nothing more than a fluky bad week.

Adam Thielen

After a huge Week 1, Thielen plummeted back in Week 2 as the entire Minnesota offense scuffled. Thielen's line was three catches for 31 yards. His performance was disappointing, but his future outlook isn't so bleak. First, Kirk Cousins won't be this bad again. He is getting the third-most time to throw in the league through two weeks. Also, his intended targets down the field reflect this time; Minny is going for big plays. Cousins is second in completed air yards and fourth in Next Gen Stat's aggressiveness metric.

Second, Thielen is still dominating the Viking pass attack. He had another eight targets in Week 2. For the season, he now has 53.44 percent of the Minnesota air yards, the highest mark in the NFL. In an offense with a normally competent quarterback, getting time to throw, and going for big plays, Thielen is the main weapon. Those are all good things for Thielen's next outing.

Mark Andrews and the Buffalo DEF

What qualifies as a stud? Andrews was the number three tight end in drafts entering the season, ahead of Zach Ertz and Darren Waller. Buffalo was a top two defense. After about a month, the draft results no longer mean squat, but this early, those things mean something. People had super-high hopes for both Andrews and the Buffalo defense. As the Ravens rolled for the second consecutive week, Andrews was invisible. We all knew Baltimore didn't need Andrews on a weekly basis to succeed, which is why he was a considerable tier below the top two at TE. But this really sharpens that opinion. Andrews is just a piece in a cog; he can't be counted on every week to be a top tight end.

For Buffalo, this was supposed to be another good opponent for fantasy production. Instead, the Bills scored a -1.0 (depending on league settings). It is the latest proof that drafting defenses is a crapshoot year to year. We won't often (or perhaps ever again) highlight a defense as a stud turned dud, but it's worth mentioning how finicky the position remains.

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Thursday Night Football DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings (Week 3)

Week 3 of the NFL season is underway and the Thursday night football showdown slate features the Miami Dolphins and the Jacksonville Jaguars! This game currently has a 48 over/under with the Jaguars being favored by 3 points.

In this article, I will be providing you with daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for Thursday Night Football on September 24th, 2020 (Week 3). These lineups can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on FanDuel. Lineup construction can differ greatly from FanDuel to DraftKings with the biggest difference being the Captain and MVP slots. On DK, you'll pay 1.5x the salary of a player in order to roster them as your captain while the price doesn't change on FanDuel.

If you have any questions you can follow me on Twitter @jorgepucks and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with myself and other NFL DFS analysts any time you'd like! Now let's break this slate down and make some cash as we get ready for the full Sunday slate of games!

 

DFS Quarterbacks

This might not be the sexiest of matchups from a quarterback standpoint but both of the quarterbacks in this game are interesting in their own right. The Dolphins are starting wily veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick who is one of the more tenured quarterbacks in the league. So far this season, Fitzpatrick has started two games and has been the typical Fitzpatrick that we have grown to know. In the opening game against the Patriots, he threw three picks and finished with only 8.44 DK points. In his second start against the Bills, Fitzpatrick threw for over 300 yards and two passing touchdowns while racking up 27.32 fantasy points. Dolphins fans are getting excited to see their rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa get some action at some point this season but it most likely looks like tonight will not be the night so it is best to fade Tua.

For the Jaguars the legend of Gardiner Minshew II continues to grow and develop. Minshew mania has picked up in Jacksonville in year two as he has gotten off to a great start and looks to be settling in comfortable as the Jaguars starting quarterback. He has scored 20+ DK points in both of his starts this season and has thrown for three touchdowns in each game so far. The Dolphins Defense has struggled so far this season against the pass as they are allowing 276.5 passing yards per game which make Minshew II a great play.

Summary: Minshew II has the higher upside of the two quarterbacks but both he and Fitzpatrick are viable in cash and tournaments.  

 

DFS Running Backs

Both teams running back situations started out rocky to begin the season but are starting to become more clear as the season progresses. For the Jags, they moved on from Leonard Fournette and have opted to roll with James Robinson to start as the featured back. Robinson has been averaging 16 rushing attempts per game so the volume is there for him. In addition, he is averaging 17 DK points per game and is one of the more underrated fantasy players to start the season. The Dolphins are allowing 164 yards per game on the ground and with the Jags being favored, the game script could go in Robinson's favor. Backing up Robinson in the Jags depth chart is DFS star Chris Thompson. The former Redskin running back hasn't gotten quite the same run as he did in Washington but is worth a look in tournaments should he get on the field on pass-catching downs.

The Dolphins backfield is a bit messier than the Jaguars backfield situation. They have Jordan Howard, Matt Breida, and Myles Gaskin all in the mix with Gaskin being the most productive back out of the bunch. Gaskin has accrued double-digit DK points in both games so far and is featured in the passing game as well as he has seen 11 total targets combined for the first two games played. The Jags have a stingy run defense as they are averaging 105.5 rushing yards per game to opposing teams which 10th in the league. With the Dolphins projected to be behind in this game, Gaskin could be a viable asset in the passing game making him the preferred Dolphins running back target.

Summary: Robinson is the best running back option for both cash and large tournaments. Gaskin is a tad riskier due to the crowded backfield in Miami but should still be considered as a solid play regardless of contest choice. Howard, Breida, and Thompson warrant tournament consideration but all carry some sort of risk. 

DFS Wide Receivers

This game features some young receivers that are fun to watch. On the Dolphins, they are led by Preston Williams and DeVante Parker. While Parker got off to a slower start with his career, he is finally starting to emerge as the playmaker they thought he would be when he was drafted back in 2015. He has been targeted 12 times on the year and is averaging 12.5 DK points per game this season. On the opposite side of the field is Preston Williams who really came on strong last season. He has seen 12 targets on the year and while he hasn't found the end zone quite yet, he is a big body that the Dolphins can rely on once they get into the red zone. Outside of those two targets, the only other Dolphin receiver to truly consider is Jakeem Grant. He is a speedster that can take it to the house at any moment but he does have a more limited role when compared to Parker and Williams.

For the Jags, they have several receiving options that we can look at for tonight's slate. DJ Chark Jr. is listed as questionable and will be a game-time decision but if he is good to go, he is one of Minshew's top targets on the slate. Chark has caught all seven targets that have come his way and has produced double-digit DK points in his first two games played. Jags rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. has done a great job inserting himself into the Jags offense as he too has caught six of his eight targets in his first two games played. A cheaper option that could see an uptick in targets should Chark miss the game tonight is Keelan Cole. He saw seven total targets in their second game of the season against Tennessee and has hit above 15 DK points in both of the Jags games this season.

Summary:  Parker and Chark are the top receiving options when it comes to rostering receivers in this game. They are all viable for cash and tournament builds with Williams, Shenault, and Cole being other options that could diversity your lineups in tournaments.  

 

DFS Tight Ends

The landscape of the tight end position on this slate is not the most appealing but there is one name that truly stands out above the rest. Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki has gotten off to a great start on the season and would make a great play in all formats. He has seen 16 targets in the first two weeks of the season while hauling in 11 of those for 130 receiving yards. Geskicki has obviously been a main target of Fitzpatrick early on in the season and it is hard to see that role changing anytime soon. The Jags defense is the worst in the league in covering tight ends as they have allowed a league 198 receiving yards to the position while also allowing two touchdowns.

On the Jaguars side of things, they have two tight ends that are being involved in the offensive game plan. Tyler Eifert is the known commodity from a pass-catching standpoint but right behind him on the depth chart is James O'Shaughnessy. Eifert has only seen seven total targets on the season while O'Shaughnessy has seen five targets over the same timespan. Eifert does have a touchdown to his name on the season but when factoring in the price points of both individuals, O'Shaughnessy looks to be a better fit in lineups since the volume and target share is close while he offers tremendous value on his price.

Summary: Gesicki is the best option for both cash games and tournament builds. Eifert is in play but O'Shaughnessy offers tremendous value based on his low salary with similar production as Eifert. 

 

DFS Defense/Special Teams

With the game total near 48, it doesn't seem like the defenses will be strong candidates for cash games. Both have struggled defensively defending the pass as they both have allowed over 550 passing yards through the first two games which makes both of them in the bottom seven teams against the pass. From the kicking perspective, Jags kicker Josh Lambo has landed on the IR and will be unable to go in tonight's game but the replacement, Brandon Wright, was not included in the DK player pool which leaves Jason Sanders the only viable kicker in tonight's game. Sanders has been perfect on all field goal attempts and with projecting to be a back and forth game, he is worth taking a stab at his price point.

Summary: Fading both defenses seems to be the best move on this slate. Jason Sanders is the only kicker in the DK player pool which makes him a solid option at just $4,200 for cash and tournament lineups. 

 

Good luck, RotoBallers, and remember to mix it up and don't be afraid to be different in these large field GPPs!



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Be sure to also check out all of our other daily fantasy football articles and analysis to help you set those winning lineups, including this new RotoBaller YouTube video:

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Monday Night Football DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings (Week 2)

Week 2 of the NFL season is underway and the Monday night football showdown slate features the Las Vegas Raiders and the New Orleans Saints! This game currently has a 48.5 over/under with the Saints being favored by 5.5 points.

In this article, I will be providing you with daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for Monday Night Football on September 21st, 2020 (Week 2). These lineups can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on FanDuel. Lineup construction can differ greatly from FanDuel to DraftKings with the biggest difference being the Captain and MVP slots. On DK, you'll pay 1.5x the salary of a player in order to roster them as your captain while the price doesn't change on FanDuel.

If you have any questions you can follow me on Twitter @jorgepucks and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with myself and other NFL DFS analysts any time you'd like! Now let's break this slate down and make some cash as we get ready for the full Sunday slate of games!

 

DFS Quarterbacks

This matchup features the top two completion percentage leaders from the 2019 season. Drew Brees will be a popular choice on this slate and rightfully so. The Raiders defense allowed Teddy Bridgewater to throw for 269 yards and one touchdown while completing 22 total passes. The biggest knock on the Raiders defense is that they struggled to rush the passer and with having such a young inexperienced secondary, that could lead to success for Brees. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Taysom Hill in a showdown slate article. The offensive wild card for the Saints does it all and is worth consideration in large-field tournaments due to his multiple roles in the Saints offense.

On the other side of this game sits Derek Carr. Carr has personally improved since Jon Gruden took over as the head coach and now has the best support he has had in his entire career.  The Saints Defense presents a very tough challenge for Carr as they are a very aggressive unit and are able to get after the opposing quarterbacks. In week 1, they were able to get to Brady three times while also generating two turnovers so in order for the Raiders to compete in this game, Carr will need to protect the ball and the offensive line will need to block to the best of their abilities. The Saints know that the Raiders offense will run through Josh Jacobs which means they might force Carr to beat them with his arm.

Summary: Brees has the higher upside of the two quarterbacks and is viable in both cash and tournaments. Carr draws lower ownership by far which means he would be a deep flier in large-field tournaments. 

 

DFS Running Backs

This game features some of the better running backs in the league. On the Saints side of the ball, they have a great 1-2 punch in Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray who will both be heavily involved in the gameplan with Michael Thomas most likely being out for this game. The Raiders defense went up against the top running back in the league against Christain McCaffrey in week 1 and now have to turn around and face an elite running back in Kamara. With the Saints potentially being out of their top receiver, we could see more pass-catching opportunities for Kamara which also means Murray could also see an uptick in snaps as well (nice little revenge narrative for Murray who first started his NFL career with the Raiders).

For the Raiders, it really is a one-man show with Josh Jacobs. Jacobs had 25 rushing attempts for 93 yards while also logging three rushing touchdowns in a Raiders win. Coach Gruden said in the off-season that he wanted to get Jacobs more involved in the passing game and he was right as he hauled in four receptions on six targets for 46 yards. The Saints did a great job bottling up Tampa Bay's rushing attack in week 1 and limiting them to 86 rushing yards but the Raiders offensive line and rushing attack present a whole different challenge for New Orleans.

Summary: Kamara and Jacobs are the two safest options for cash games. Both warrant tournament consideration while Murray could be a lower owned tournament play if used in the same lineup as Kamara. 

DFS Wide Receivers

The biggest news as we head into this game is the status of Michael Thomas. He has been officially ruled out which means you can give bumps to Emmanuel Sanders, Tre'Quan Smith, Jared Cook, and even Alvin Kamara. Smith could have himself a big day as he actually out-snapped Sanders in week 1 and will be relied on heavily by Brees. Sanders has had experience against this Raiders defense as he has faced them over the years while he was a member of the Denver Broncos. Over his two most recent games played against the Raiders, he has combined for nine catches and racked up 182 yards and a touchdown. A deep flier for the Saints could be the Deonte Harris who is a speedster and could see an increase in snaps while Thomas is out.

The Raiders restocked their receiving room this off-season by drafting Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards while also signing veteran Nelson Agholor. Ruggs III made his presence felt early on in week 1 as he was involved in both the passing and running game (sweep plays). He did bang his knee awkwardly which seemed to affect him in the second half and comes into this game listed as questionable. With the attention going to Ruggs III, guys like Hunter Renfrow, Bryan Edwards, Zay Jones, and Nelson Agholor are all in play with Renfrow and Edwards having the most carved out roles amongst this group.

Summary:  Sanders, Smith, and Ruggs III are the best options when it comes to rostering receivers in this game. They are all viable for cash and tournament builds while Edwards, Renfrow, Jones, Agholor,  and Harris are worth looking at in tournaments to diversify your lineups. 

 

DFS Tight Ends

This game features some great tight end play which could be the position that makes or break the slate. On the Saints, you have Jared Cook going up against his former team where he got his first pro-bowl bid. If you are one for revenge narratives, this would be a matchup to target. Cook could see an uptick in targets in this matchup and with the Raiders linebacking group having their hands full with Kamara and Murray, Cook could see some favorable matchups against the Raiders safeties. Behind Jared Cook on the depth chart sits Josh Hill. Hill actually saw more snaps than Cook but is not the receiving threat that Cook is.

For the Raiders, they have one of the deeper tight end rooms in the league. They are led by Darren Waller who is a tough matchup for most defenses based on his size and athletic ability. Behind Waller, the Raiders have veteran Jason Witten and two young tight ends in Foster Moreau and Derek Carrier. Moreau led the tight end room in touchdown receptions last season with five before he suffered a season-ending knee injury. Witten looks to have surpassed Moreau on the depth chart and even saw a red zone target last week.

Summary: Both Cook and Waller are viable options for cash games and tournament builds with Waller being the safest option. Witten, Moreau, and Hill are all long shot tournament fliers if needing salary.

 

DFS Defense/Special Teams

With this being a higher-totaled game and both offenses looking good in week 1, it looks like it would be best to fade rostering a defense. If I was forced to pick rostering a defense, I would lean going with the Saints defense just because the Raiders fall behind early in the game which means the Saints defense could pin their ears back and go after Carr which would generate potential sacks and turnovers. From the kicking game perspective, both kickers are viable since this game is taking place indoors and both offenses should be able to move the ball into their opponent's side of the field.

Summary: Both defenses could be risky to use with the Saints being the safer choice. Both Lutz and Carlson have strong legs and could be lower owned tournament plays. 

 

Good luck, RotoBallers, and remember to mix it up and don't be afraid to be different in these large field GPPs on opening night!



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Sunday Night Football DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings (Week 2)

Week 2 of the NFL season is underway and the Sunday night football showdown slate features the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks! This game has a 44.0 over/under with the Seahawks being favored by 4 points.

In this article, I will be providing you with daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for Sunday Night Football on September 20th, 2020 (Week 2). These lineups can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on FanDuel. Lineup construction can differ greatly from FanDuel to DraftKings with the biggest difference being the Captain and MVP slots. On DK, you'll pay 1.5x the salary of a player in order to roster them as your captain while the price doesn't change on FanDuel.

If you have any questions you can follow me on Twitter @jorgepucks and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with myself and other NFL DFS analysts any time you'd like! Now let's break this slate down and make some cash as we get ready for the full Sunday slate of games!

 

DFS Quarterbacks

The quarterback position features some of the higher upside quarterbacks throughout the league. Both Russell Wilson and Cam Newton have proven that they can make plays with both their arms and their legs which makes this matchup so intriguing. Cam Newton was heavily involved in all facets of the offensive gameplan for the Patriots in week 1. He had 19 total passing attempts and completed 15 for 155 yards but his involvement on the ground game is what really stands out. He carries the rock 15 times for 75 yards while scoring twice which shows us the Patriots are preferring to grind it out with Newton and company.

Russell Wilson had himself a monster week 1 but did most of his work through the air. Looking back at his week 1 performance, Wilson completed 31 of 35 passes for 322 yards and 4 touchdowns. Wilson has one of the best arms in the league and it seems as if Seattle is willing to open up the passing playbook with the weapons that Wilson now has. While Bill Belichek has always been known for defensively scheming for the opposing team's best offensive weapon, it is truly hard to gameplan for a talent like Wilson.

Summary: Both QBs are viable in tournaments and stacking them together to be different. Both make viable captain/MVP choices with Wilson being a better option in cash games while Newton draws lower ownership in tournament lineups.

 

DFS Running Backs

The running back tandems on both teams are really hard to gauge with just one week in the books. We know that Chris Carson is the main feature back for the Seahawks but he actually saw fewer rushing attempts than Carlos Hyde. While it was only one rushing attempt that separated the two, Carson was heavily involved in the passing game as he hauled in six catches on six targets for 45 yards and two scores. If there is a running back to target in this game for a captain standpoint, it would be Carson.

The Patriots are always tough to figure out when it comes to their running back situation. They have a plethora of backs that they love to use so it is tough to fully rely on one to do most of the work. Sony Michel saw more carries in week 1 against the Dolphins but James White is more involved in the passing game. From a game script standpoint, it wouldn't be a surprise if Seattle got up on the Patriots which phases out Michel and only allows for more playing time for James White. Another thing to remember, Cam Newton had the highest rushing attempts for New England so if you decide to roster Newton, you will also be grabbing a big piece of their rushing attack as well.

Summary: Carson is the safest back on the slate for cash. Hyde is $3,400 which is great value for tournament lineups. White is the preferred back for cash games with his involvement in the passing game while Michel is better off in tournaments. 

DFS Wide Receivers

The receiving group is really an interesting group to look at on this showdown slate. One the Seattle side of things, there are two known commodities in Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. They saw the most snaps in game 1 (61 Metcalf, 58 Lockett) and were each targeted eight times throughout the game. Both of them offer tremendous floors as they are the main receiving options in this offense and see large volumes in terms of targets. If looking for a lower owned tournament plays from Seattle David Moore and Phillip Dorsett are both cheaper options that can play a role if the Patriots Defense decides to go all out and shutting down Metcalf and Lockett. Dorsett is dealing with an injury so this situation will need to be monitored before kickoff.

The Patriots really focused on the ground game in their win against Miami so it was tough to really gauge who would be Cam's go-to receiving targets. The obvious and well know receiving option for the Patriots is Julian Edleman who is the safest option in the Patriots passing game. In his first game with Newton under center, Edelman saw seven targets and hauled in five of those for 57 yards. In 2019-2020, Edelman held a 24.7% target share and in week 1 of the 2020 season, Edelman held a 36.8% target share. While this number is not sustainable, we can anticipate him staying involved in the offense and getting his own each and every week. Outside of Edelman, N'Keal Harry is a viable tournament option that saw six targets in the opening week and is reasonably priced at 7,800. Damiere Byrd is a low-floor tournament option as he saw the most snaps out of all of the New England receivers but did not see any targets himself.  With the high-snap count, he is worthy of a look for tournament lineups in hopes he is able to get some targets thrown his way.

Summary: DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are the two safest receivers when it comes to targets so they are viable for both cash and tournament builds. If healthy and good to go, Edelman has one of the best floors on the slate and is great for cash games as well. David Moore, N'Keal Harry and Damiere Byrd are all viable tournament options at lower price points that can open up your roster construction. 

 

DFS Tight Ends

The tight end position is not fantastic on this showdown slate and will be more viable in tournament builds than cash game builds. The Seahawks added tight end veteran Greg Olsen in the offseason who would be the main tight end option to focus on for this slate. Once considered a top-5 receiving tight end in the league, age and injuries have slowed Olsen down a bit but he can still be a solid floor type of player for Seattle. He saw four targets in week 1 and even recorded a receiving touchdown but with the other offensive weapons that Seattle has, it will be tough for Olsen to once dominate like he used to.

New England is a team in transition and while they relied heavily on tight ends in the past, it seems as if they are looking elsewhere for their production. The lone Patriot tight end that saw the most action was Ryan Izzo who saw 98% of snaps in week 1. While he saw plenty of action, the target number was less than desirable as he only saw two targets and hauled in one of those for 25 yards.

Summary: Olsen provides a solid floor that is viable for cash games. Izzo is dirt cheap and worth consideration in tournaments.

 

DFS Defense/Special Teams

It seems as if the offenses are ahead of the defenses so far in the early portion of the NFL season. With no pre-season games, defenses are still trying to gel together as units which are resulting in higher scores from opposing offenses. Seattle allowed over 400 passing yards to Atlanta in week 1 but only 72 rushing yards. The Patriots combined for 217 rushing yards in week 1 against Miami while passing for a league-low of 140 yards. If Seattle can contain the Patriots rushing attack, that will put pressure on Newton to beat the Seahawks secondary with his arm and unproven receiving corps. On the flip side, the New England defense was able to limit the Dolphins offense as a whole and generate three interceptions. With it being a much tougher task this week against the Seahawks, it is better to fade the Patriots defense against a Seahawks offense that looks to be in mid-season form.

The kickers for both squads look to be tournament options only with giving a slight edge to Jason Myers. The Seahawks have a better overall offense and should be able to have better field positioning throughout the game which means more opportunities from a field goal standpoint.

Summary: With the Seahawks at home and the lack of receiving options for the Patriots, the Seattle defense gets the edge on the slate. Jason Myers is the better kicking option but both kickers remain as tournament options.

 

Good luck, RotoBallers, and remember to mix it up and don't be afraid to be different in these large field GPPs on opening night!



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Disaster Recovery - Stud Turned Dud

The first week of the NFL season is in the books. We weren't sure if the 2020 season would start on time. We weren't sure what the games would look or feel like. We still aren't sure if all 17 weeks will go ahead as planned and if the season will reach its normal conclusion. All we know is that Week 1 is complete.

In that Week 1, there were massive upsets. The supposed two worst teams in the sport both won. Home teams went 8-8 despite having small or no crowds allowed. On the fantasy side of things, only one quarterback finished in the top five overall scorers.

Fantasy is always unpredictable, especially at the very beginning of a new season. Even the best of players put up dud performances. Not all duds are created equal though. Some disastrous performances are signs of more to come. Here are Week 1's studs turned duds.

Saquon Barkley

Barkley was the second player off the board in most drafts, trailing only Christian McCaffrey. In Week 1, Barkley trailed pretty much everyone who played a full game. He carried the ball 15 times for an unnerving six rushing yards. That is six total yards on the ground, not a per-carry average. He added in six catches for 60 yards which helped salvage his week, particularly in PPR leagues.

The good news is obvious stuff for the number two overall pick in drafts. He was the bell cow runner for his team; he was a major asset in the passing game. Those two factors should continue all season long. The bad news is that it may not matter considering the production of the New York offensive line in front of him.

Barkley was hit at or behind the line of scrimmage on 11 of his 15 carries. That is an almost implausibly high number. He essentially had no chance on 73 percent of his attempts. People downgrade the value of running backs in today's NFL partially because of this, though they mean it in the opposite circumstance. Average backs can perform well behind great offensive lines. Likewise, even great backs won't succeed with no line help. The Pittsburgh defense is good. Only time will tell how good it was versus how bad New York is in the trenches.

Michael Thomas

The first receiver off the board in fantasy drafts delivered like anything but. Thomas finished Week 1 with three receptions, 17 yards, a high-ankle sprain, and a questionable tag heading into Week 2. The injury can't be blamed for his performance though. It didn't come until late in the game, after his outing was already one to forget.

Of course, like Barkley, the failure of an elite player often has a lot to do with those around him. Drew Brees was erratic and inaccurate with the football. He completed a very un-Brees-like 60 percent of his throws. Even worse, his expected completion percentage was 68.8, giving him the third-worst differential of the week. Additionally, Brees tied for the worst mark in the league in average completed air yards.

One would figure the former stat will not continue with arguably the most accurate passer in the history of the sport. The latter is another story. Even still, Thomas' health is the bigger issue than Brees' aim for Week 2.

Nick Chubb

Chubb was a top 15 pick in the average draft and was expected to be an every down, elite back. In Cleveland's first game, he was far from an every down player. Managers who drafted Chubb expected a worst-case scenario to be something like an even split in workload between he and Kareem Hunt. Apparently, that was not the worst case.

Chubb finished Week 1 with 35 snaps played, 10 carries, and one target in the passing game. Hunt, meanwhile, had 36 snaps, 13 carries, and six targets, the latter figure tying for second-most on the team. Cleveland trailed big, leading to the superior receiver, Hunt, benefiting. But Hunt also carried the ball more and was given more first-down carries.

This is certainly a situation worth monitoring. It is too early to panic, but it is not too early to adjust expectations. Chubb and Hunt seem to be in more of a timeshare than managers would have expected, even if Chubb does normally get the higher volume of that split.

Mike Evans

The Tampa wide receiver may have been the second Buccaneer receiver drafted in most leagues, but he was still a top-25 player coming into the season. While Chris Godwin was just okay in the first game, Evans was downright bad. He finished with one catch for two yards.

We suppose this poor outing had to do with Evans' hamstring strain that caused him to be a game-time decision. As is often the case, he was healthy enough to play but perhaps not healthy enough to play at his normal level. There was no way for fantasy managers to know how healthy his healthy tag really was. It is a tough break for sure. It is unreasonable to expect anyone to bench him after he's marked active for the contest.

For next week, the situation will be the same. If he's active, fantasy managers have to slot him into their lineups.

George Kittle

The situation for Kittle is the same as it is for Evans. Rather than entering Week 1 dinged, though, Kittle got hurt during the contest. Being injured is not the same as putting up a dud performance, even if the outcome is the same. If Kittle is active next week, everyone is starting him.

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Thursday Night Football Week 2: DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings

Week 2 of the NFL season is underway and the Thursday night football showdown slate features the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns! This game has a low 43.5 point over/under with the Browns being favored by 6 points. Looking back at the 2019 season, the season series was split 1-1 as both Cleveland and Cincinnati won when they were hosting the matchup. Another interesting thing to note is that both games last year hit the over when comparing to this year's total of 43.5

In this article, I will be providing you with daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for Thursday Night Football on September 17th, 2020 (Week 2). These lineups can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on FanDuel. Lineup construction can differ greatly from FanDuel to DraftKings with the biggest difference being the Captain and MVP slots. On DK, you'll pay 1.5x the salary of a player in order to roster them as your captain while the price doesn't change on FanDuel.

If you have any questions you can follow me on Twitter @jorgepucks and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with myself and other NFL DFS analysts any time you'd like! Now let's break this slate down and make some cash as we get ready for the full Sunday slate of games!

 

DFS Quarterbacks

While this isn't as exciting of a matchup as Mahomes and Watson were last week, Baker Mayfield and Joe Burrow should have some opportunities to put up points here in week 2. Baker is coming off of a lackluster performance against the Ravens but once again, he was facing a top defense in a brand new offensive system so that does play a factor. Joe Burrow got his first official start in the NFL and while his team did get the loss, Burrow did enough to put his team in a position to possibly tie the score at the end of the game (thanks a lot Randy Bullock).

With the low total, people might gravitate away from playing these quarterbacks but a contrarian move is to roll both guys in tournament lineups. Baker had 39 passing attempts against Baltimore and while a lot of that was in the second half trying to catch up to the Ravens, it showed that they are not afraid to rely on Mayfield's arm talent to keep them in games regardless of the opponent. Joe Burrow attempted 36 passes against the Chargers in week 1 and while he didn't light it up in terms of passing touchdowns or even passing yardage, Burrow showed his upside by rushing eight times for 46 yards and a touchdown.

Summary: Both QBs are viable in tournaments and stacking them together to be different. Both make viable captain/MVP choices.

 

DFS Running Backs

Both teams have young stud running backs that should be in consideration for your showdown lineups. Joe Mixon had himself a field day last season against the Browns as he rushed for over 300 yards and three rushing touchdowns in just two regular-season games. On the other side of the ball, Nick Chubb carried the rock for the Browns 28 times while accumulating 147 yards in his two games against the Bengals.

In the first game of the 2020 season, Kareem Hunt actually had more rushing attempts (13) than starting running back Nick Chubb (10) which is worth noting. The Browns signed Hunt to a two-year extension before the start of the season so this means we might see a little bit less of a workload for Chubb and an increased workload for Hunt. For the Bengals, Mixon saw a bulk of the carries as he had 19 rushing attempts but accumulated only 69 rushing yards. Backing him up is the long-time vet Gio Bernard. While Bernard is not a threat to take any rushing attempts away from Mixon, he was targeted five times in the passing game which tells us he is still finding ways to be involved in the offensive gameplan.

Summary: Mixon is the safest back on the slate for cash. Gio Bernard is an excellent value on DK. The Browns RB situation is a little more split with the workload so both are better off in tournaments.

 

DFS Wide Receivers

There are some really intriguing receiving options on this slate that could be viable for both cash games and tournament lineups. When looking at the Bengals side of things, A.J. Green is the first guy to mention. In his first game back in action since 2018, Green saw nine targets and hauled in five catches from rookie QB Joe Burrow. While it wasn't a monster type of performance we are used to seeing from him, it was encouraging to see Green back out there and being involved in the Bengals offense.  Behind Green, Tyler Boyd and John Ross III saw five targets each with Boyd hauling four of those targets while Ross was only able to bring in two of them for catches.

For Cleveland, Odell Beckham Jr. led all receivers with 10 targets but was only able to haul in three of them for catches in game 1. Jarvis Landry hauled in five catches on six targets and is still viewed as one of the better points per reception receivers in the league based on his shorter routes and consistent hands. Outside of the big two receivers, the running backs were involved in the passing game and so were the tight ends so other receivers like KhaDarel Hodge are nothing more than tournament fliers.

Summary: ODB and Green are the two safest receivers when it comes to targets so they are viable for both cash and tournament builds. Landry has one of the best floors on the slate and is great for cash games. Boyd and Ross provide high-upside options in tournament builds while Hodge, Higgins, Tate, and Thomas are all low-floor tournament options.

 

DFS Tight Ends

The tight end position isn't as strong as last week's Thursday showdown but there are still some viable options. With David Njoku getting placed on the IR, this opens the door for Austin Hooper to really emerge as the top tight end option in Cleveland. In the opening game against the Ravens, Hooper was limited to just two targets and 15 receiving yards while Njoku recorded three catches for 50 yards and a touchdown.

On the Bengals side, CJ Uzomah saw a solid volume of passes as he hauled in four catches on five targets while recording 45 receiving yards. In 2019, Uzomah racked up six catches for 29 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Browns but with the Bengals spreading the ball around more, Uzomah could end up being in some favorable mismatches.

Summary: Play Hooper in all formats. Uzomah makes for a solid GPP value option, especially when pairing with Burrow.

 

DFS Defense/Special Teams

Defenses do get overlooked when it comes to showdown slates but when glancing at this matchup, I think we can avoid these defenses entirely. Even though Vegas is projecting the over/under to be a lower scoring game, something tells me this could end up being a higher-scoring affair like we saw in 2019. Both teams faced very good defenses in week 1 and with little turn around time to fully prepare, it might be tough to see either defense be full prepared for the opposing offenses.

If you like dealing with kicker drama, this game is full of it. Austin Seibert had a rough week 1 against Baltimore as he missed both a field goal and an extra point attempt and was released yesterday afternoon. He was picked up by the Bengals to back up Randy Bullock who was dealing with a calf issue (yes, the calf issue that flared up on the game-tying attempt that he missed) against the Chargers. Cody "Double Doink" Parkey was swept up by the Browns after releasing Seibert and will take over the field goal kicking duties for Cleveland come Thursday night.

Summary: Both defenses look to be nothing but tournament fliers.  Parkey looks to be the best option is looking to use a kicker.

 

Good luck, RotoBallers, and remember to mix it up and don't be afraid to be different in these large field GPPs on opening night!

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Thursday Night Football Week 1: DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings

Football is back! And what a way to welcome back the NFL to our lives than with the defending Super Bowl Champs taking on the Houston Texans in Kansas City. This game has a lofty 54.5 point over/under and we should see some fireworks from these offenses on opening night. The Texans got the best of the Cheifs in the regular season 31-24 and had a 21-0 lead on KC in the AFC playoffs before the Chiefs came storming back to beat them 51-31 in an incredible offense performance.

In this article, I will be providing you with daily fantasy football picks on FanDuel and DraftKings for Thursday Night Football on September 10th, 2020 (Week 1). These lineups can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on FanDuel. Lineup construction can differ greatly from FanDuel to DraftKings with the biggest difference being the Captain and MVP slots. On DK, you'll pay 1.5x the salary of a player in order to roster them as your captain while the price doesn't change on FanDuel.

With both FanDuel and DraftKings hosting Milly-maker contests on opening night, there's some serious money being wagered on this game! If you have any questions you can follow me on Twitter @ThunderDanDFS and fire away, or sign up for a premium RotoBaller NFL package and chat with myself and other NFL DFS analysts any time you'd like! Now let's break this slate down and make some cash right out of the gates!

 

DFS Quarterbacks

It's not often we have a single-game slate where the opposing quarterbacks are both potentially elite plays, but that's absolutely the case in this game as Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson are both top options. Opposing QBs actually correlate well and there's a case to be made for playing both in a lineup if you think this game shoots out and stays close.

Mahomes should be the more popular play and for good reason. The Super Bowl MVP is the better passer of the two and has better weapons around him as well as a better offensive line. While I usually don't play QBs at captain or MVP very often in single game/showdown, you can absolutely play either of these guys as they both have the ability to run the ball and score rushing TDs (Watson ran for 3 TDs total in the two meetings between these teams last year).

Summary: Play Mahomes in cash, Watson in GPPs. Stack them together to be different. Both make viable captain/MVP choices.

 

DFS Running Backs

There's a number of viable options at running back in this game, but probably only one relatively "safe" play in Clyde Edwards-Helaire. We don't know how Andy Reid is going to divvy up the touches amongst his backs, but we do know that CEH is the starter and easily the most talented of the bunch. Andy Reid schemes the ball to his backs better than most NFL coaches and therefore CEH is a top play even with 50-60% of the RB touches. He's an explosive back who's great in space and that skillset should translate well to way in which the Chiefs will want to utilize him.

Backing up CEH will be Darrel Williams (only 1800 on DK) and I'm definitely interested in rostering him as a pivot off CEH or actually using them together to try to grab as much of the running back production as possible. He didn't see all much action last season but did score 4 TDs and is reportedly ahead of DeAndre Washington in the pecking order.

Houston's lead back will be David Johnson. After a disappointing year in Arizona, he came over in the trade that sent DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals. Coach Bill O'Brien will definitely want to get him involved often, but he be facing a negative game script if the Texans get down early. He has been a solid pass catcher in his career but the Texans also have an effective third-down back in Duke Johnson who should see his share of touches as well. I'm not all that high on David Johnson at his price and there's no way to know if Duke Johnson is on the field enough to make value, but I'd rather roll the dice on him if I had to take a Houston back.

Summary: CEH is the safest back on the slate for cash. Darrel Williams is an excellent value on DK. The Houston RB situation is a bit of a mess that I am likely to avoid if possible.

 

DFS Wide Receivers

The WR position might be the hardest spot to figure out on this slate. The Chiefs' top pass-catching option is their tight end, Travis Kelce, followed closely by the speedy Tyreek Hill. Hill is fairly expensive on both sites but has explosive playmaking ability and the ability to rip off huge chunks of yardage at a time. He's definitely worthy of some GPP exposure, but not a priority for me in cash games.

Sammy Watkins is the WR2 for KC and also has shown big-play ability with Mahomes at times. He's way too inconsistent for cash but a solid GPP option as a pivot off Hill/Kelce. Both Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman have occasionally popped off for long TD receptions but are low floor plays that are best reserved for large field GPPs.

For Houston, we have four receivers who are all worthy of consideration to be paired with DeShaun Watson. With Hopkins' departure, we should see more targets for incumbents Will Fuller and Kenny Stills, both of whom can be solid threats in the vertical passing game.

The arrival of Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb muddies things a bit as both should get a number of looks their way, too. My favorite plays from this group are Fuller (for his ability to stretch the field and his prior success with Watson in the last few seasons) and Cobb (for his track record doing work underneath in the short passing game).

Summary: All the WR options on this slate carry some risk and none of them have very safe target floors. Hill has the most upside but is expensive. Fuller will be popular but is my favorite Houston WR while Cobb is a nice cheap play with some volume upside.

 

DFS Tight Ends

There are not many tight ends (or receivers, really) with the talent and playmaking ability of Travis Kelce. He's easily one of the best plays (if not THE best play) on this slate and I will have a healthy share of him in my captain/MVP slot. He's not just a safety blanket for Mahomes who can pile up a bunch of catches in the short passing game, he's an athletic freak who can rip off huge gains on seam routes and do plenty of damage after the catch on patterns in the flat or across the middle. In the 51-31 playoff comeback against Houston, he piled up 10 catches for 134 yards and three scores. He's an elite play in all formats and a hard guy to fade on this slate.

Houston actually has a few really compelling plays here at the TE position, too. Starter Darren Fells caught 9-91 and a TD between the two contests against KC last season. It remains to be seen where Hopkins' vacated targets go, but Fells is certainly worth a look at his price, as is their TE2 Jordan Akins who is the better athlete of the two and more of a big-play threat.

Summary: Play Kelce in all formats. Houston TEs are solid GPP value options.

 

DFS Defense/Special Teams

In high total games like this one, defenses are often overlooked on DraftKings (not available on FanDuel) and that can be a mistake. The Chiefs D/ST is 3400 and is in a nice spot to produce here if the Texans are trailing and playing catch up. That would equal more chances at sacks and interceptions as Watson is trying to make things happen in the passing game. It's a contrarian play with some nice upside if they score a defensive touchdown or a special teams TD (also a strength of KC).

Harrison Butker is an excellent kicker, but in order for him to be an optimal play he's going to need to make probably three field goals and a few extra points. It's certainly well within the range of outcomes, but I think KC converts more of their drives into TDs than FGs and therefore I won't have too much exposure, at least not when there are other position players cheaper on both sites.

Summary: KC defense is in play on DK. Butker is decent floor play on either site. 

 

Good luck, RotoBallers, and remember to mix it up and don't be afraid to be different in these large field GPPs on opening night!

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